Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) introduced Amir Alagic as the newly appointed Head Coach of the Sri Lanka National Football Team. He was introduced to the media at a media briefing held at the Football House.
Alagic replaces Nizam Packeer Ali, whose two-year term saw Sri Lanka drop from 198 to 205 in the FIFA rankings and win just 1 of their 24 matches while drawing 5. During that period the islanders conceded 65 and scored just 7 goals.
Holding a citizenship in both Bosnia & Herzegovina as well as Australia, Alagic holds an UEFA Professional Coaching License and has worked with many European and Asian elite clubs.
Alagic has a rich coaching career spanning 25 years, having coached clubs in countries such as Australia, Bosnia, Germany, USA, Brunei, India, Oman and Sweden.
He also headed the Brunei National Team and Bosnia National U19 Team. Among elite clubs, he was the assistant coach of Werder Bremen of Germany in 2007 when the club played in the UEFA Champions League.
Alagic is no stranger to the sub-continent either, as he has been the Academy Director at East Bengal SC and Head Coach of New Radiant SC Maldives.
Anura de Silva, President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, stated that the reason to turn to a foreign professional coach, was to inspire the players to do their best for their country and the game of football.
“We have invited Mr. Amir Alagic to elevate the standard of our National Team. We expect him to spearhead the transformation of our National Team and assist them to become a good team of players who will aspire to play quality football.”
Addressing the media, Amir Alagic stated that the standard of football in the country is at an amateur level and will require a considerable amount of time to bring to a competitive level. He also stressed on the need to have a competitive professional league in order to bring in quality players.
“After one week of training, I find that we have a serious problem in terms of football in this country. The players lack quality, physicality and fitness. This country has no professional league. The most important thing at the moment is to have a professional league.
This national team is not competitive enough to face international teams. We are at an amateur level and we are playing teams who are top professionals, like South Korea.”
Alagic’s first assignment will be to prepare the team for the two FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against North Korea and South Korea in March. The team will also fly to Lebanon in June for their final game in the qualifiers.