Following the announcement of Marco Kurz as Head Coach and Filip Tapalovic as Assistant Head Coach for the next two years, we chat exclusively with the pair to find out more about their plans for Adelaide United.
When were you made aware of the opportunity to coach the Reds?
Marco Kurz: I had a call from Ante and he asked me if I’m interested to come to Adelaide and I said yes I’m interested. Then Ante and Grant came to Munich where we had a good meeting and after I flied to Adelaide to look at the city, the club and that was the first step.
What ultimately convinced you to come to Adelaide?
MK: The club especially the commitment from Ante, it’s very good and it’s not normal and that convinced me to come to Adelaide, it’s good.
When you visited Adelaide, when you flew out here, what did you think about the City?
MK: I think a beautiful city with a lot of facets: beach, little hills, restaurants, bars and very nice people I like it.
The season here is during summer, are you ready for a hot dry Adelaide summer?
MK: I hope, but I need a good sunscreen.
Both of you played together, what was Filip like as a player and a teammate?
MK: He’s a hard worker, a funny guy and a team player and that’s important for a team and for a club.
Filip what was Marco like as a teammate and a player?
Filip Tapalovic: We played four years together and he was my captain for two years. He’s a leader, we played the same positions and he’s a worker who had a good attitude in training and in games.
Marco what do you feel Filip can help you with here at Adelaide United. Why is he your assistant coach?
MK: I think we need a coach, an assistant coach, we need players that are hungry for the club to work and I think Filip is a little bit crazy but he likes to work hard and that’s good for the club.
How do you expect your previous experience to help you in this job?
FT: I have many experiences as a player, over 13 years in the first and second division in Germany. And I think my experience is very good for the young players in the team. I can help them to develop and my coaching experience is not so big, but I worked with young players and I think I can be really good to help the young players to grow up.
What are some of the football philosophies you expect to bring to the Club?
MK: We will be well prepared for the games and want to play compactly and have a good successful soccer season.
Who are your biggest coaching influences?
MK: I think I have a lot of coaches for example Huub Stevens or Ottmar Hitzfeld. I think from all coaches there are (different) parts you experience. From one coach it’s the discipline the other coach it’s the commitment with the players, but not only one coach is special.
FT: Because we played together we’ve had the same coaches. Also Huub Stevens was very important for me, but it would be the same answer like Marco. Every coach gives you something and you learn and have the experience from the coaches.
When it comes to training and preparation for the season, how do you approach those types of things?
MK: We must first get to know the team, it’s very important. We want to prepare them physically and tactically (as much) as possible for a good season and I think we must take things step-by-step and day-by-day.
In terms of players that you might bring to the Club, what types of players would you like to sign?
MK: I think we need good quality in the offence, a defender and we need a midfielder. But I need hungry players, hungry players will get to the next step.
You watched some videos of our matches from last season. Were there any players that stood out to you, what did you learn from those videos?
MK: I saw four or five games on video, but I think I’ll get a good impression at training then I can give a serious (assessment) about the players.
Our squad has a lot of young players, are you excited by the prospect of a young squad?
MK: I think we both want to make all players and young players better that’s our job and that’s what we want to do.
What are the most important skills or attributes that you look for in your players?
MK: They must have talent, good quality, a good mentality, like to work hard for the next step – it’s important, a team player, a good character and they must like the club.
Do you enjoy interacting with the fans and what can our supporters expect of Marco and Filip the people?
MK: I think we want to do everything to have a successful season. We’re hard workers and we’re hungry for the job and happy to stay in Adelaide.