J. Zdovcas, who came to Lithuania: it doesn’t matter who plays in “Žalgiris”, you have to win every game


Slovenia Jure Zdovcas On Monday morning, he visited the Žalgiris Arena for the first time as the new head coach of the Kaunas Žalgiris team. The 54-year-old specialist, who was hired before the end of the season, officially replaced the previous boss. Martin Martin Schiller, Austrian coach.

J.Zdovcas immediately fell into an intense work vortex in Kaunas: the specialist not only had to put official signatures on the contract, but also went to work with Žalgiris, who will play two away games in the Euroleague this week .

Before getting to work with his new coaching teammates and getting acquainted with the people at Žalgiris, J. Zdovcas interacted with Žalgiris Insider and shared how it felt to join the team of multiple Lithuanian champions.

“Žalgiris” was interested in me, what else is there to think about here. It’s the Euroleague ”, smiled the Slovenian. – I used to have 2-3 Euroleague club offers, but had to turn them down because I was working at another club at the time. Is not easy. At the end of the day, working at Žalgiris is a great opportunity. There are many thoughts on my mind now. Be that as it may, it is not because of the entire negotiation process, but because of all the new information that you have had to absorb.

Everyone started calling me, talking to the agent, checking the match records. For me it is normal to be in a situation like this, of course, it is not easy because of that. It is understandable that no matter how much money Žalgiris has, which players would play on this team, all matches must be won. So it is and I know it. I am happy and honored to be here. “

J. Zdovc had previous experience in the Euroleague with the Ljubljana club “Olympia”, whom he coached in the tournament in 2008-2011. Subsequently, the technician worked in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Turkey, Greece and France. In the latter state, the Slovenian spent last season coaching the Metropolitans 92 team.

J.Zdovcas jumps to a new stop in his career in Lithuania after the start of the season. True, such a situation is not unknown to the specialist. The last time the coach was in a similar situation was in 2015, when he assumed command of AEK Athens in December.

According to J. Zdovc, in “Žalgiris” he will not undertake radical changes immediately, but will try to introduce changes gradually.

“It is not easy for one to jump to such a stage of the season. I come alone, in addition to my assistants who know my philosophy of basketball. Okay, I know some players, but we don’t have much time to train. Yesterday the team played games. of the LKL and tomorrow we are going to the Euroleague duel, we don’t have time.

Such an experience with “Žalgiris” will be a bit different, when you could try to change something right away. Anyway, I see a lot of positives. I want to feel the situation, the atmosphere, feel what the players are like, my assistants. Only together we can do something good, “said J. Zdovc.

Speaking about his promoted style of play, J. Zdovc explained that he is a defender of team play who loves defense. The specialist assured that one of the most important aspects of the Žalgiris game must be aggression.

“We have to do everything quickly, but play in an organized way. Be that as it may, we must do everything possible so that we can carry out the transfer to the exposed person. You must react to the defense of the opponents and take advantage of the attack.

Like I said, everything is very simple. Must be aggressive, find a free person, less extra dribbling. I see a lot of dribbling. The defense of the team must help each other. Never give up, stop.

Sometimes I say to players, “don’t rest on defense, rest on attack.” Work on defense and maybe on offense you will have a chance to breathe a little, “said J. Zdovc.

In the “Insider” section, J.Zdovcas revealed that “Žalgiris” is looking for an athlete who can compete in the hard edge and center positions.

Bruzas and Pulkovskis podcast: who is the new Žalgiris strategist? Click and watch >>