Leaving Port Adelaide Football Club
With a great sadness I want to announce that I left the position of Strength Coach and Data Scientist at Port Adelaide Football Club, as well as Australia. It took me a lot of sleepless nights to make a very hard decision to leave my dream job – THE JOB I always wanted and an amazing culture I always wanted to be part of. It wasn’t easy decision to make, but I believe I did the right choice.
The reason for leaving such a great place are family issues. I couldn’t find a common ground with my (now ex) wife who didn’t want to relocate to Australia with me and our little son (now 2). I have missed too much in his two years of life while being away in Qatar and now Australia. I decided that seeing my son twice a year was not a stellar career I wanted to make and I have decided to put him and his needs first, over any job. I am by far not the greatest father, but at least I am more around him now. Deciding to get back to Serbia, where everyone wants to leave out, was not an easy decision to make, but being around family beats all the drawbacks of being in this shithole of a country.
I know that a lot of S&C coaches and sport scientists (even athletes) are struggling with these types of issues and I can only sympathize with them. I have a friend who haven’t seen his daughter in years, and I didn’t want this to happen to me and my son. Being divorced is already painfully hard without me being thousands of miles away. As I said, it wasn’t easy decision to make and I can only thank to Darren Burgess and the rest of the staff for understanding the issue and helping me out.
Experience at Port Adelaide was the apex in my career so far and I am thankful and proud for the opportunity to be a part of such a great club. I wholeheartedly wish them all the best, since they don’t deserve anything less than that.
What’s next? I am back to Belgrade, Serbia where I will try with an IT business startup as an entrepreneur for at least 6 to 12 months. I have couple of products to make and should fill the gap on the market and help coaches do their work better, easier and faster. Will continue coaching on a side, helping our clubs, coaches and athletes here. I would love to try to get a position of Performance Manager somewhere in Europe if it emerges, which is close so I can fly back often enough to see my boy, but for now I will focus on developing couple of tools for the coaches and spending more time with my son. I believe that before the end of 2016 we will have an up-and-running product. Besides, I am always available for consulting and I am on the board of one startup company from London. We are also trying to establish Serbian Strength and Conditioning Association and help our coaches and clubs here in Serbia.
I want to thank everyone at Port Adelaide for giving me such an amazing opportunity and for making my stay there enjoyable. I am really sad that it didn’t work out (this time 🙂 ) . We are Port Adelaide!
I also want to thank Mirjana and Sinisa Culibrk and their two boys Stefan and Nikola for taking care of me in Adelaide and making my stay pleasant. Without them it would have been much harder – they were like a host family for me and I owe them a lot. I also want to thank Dejan Balaban and Serbian community for making me feel at home in the distant Australia, and to my lad Josip Habljak, the very first Croatian footy player for being such a great friend, together with Goran and his brothers. I am also in great debt to Dylan Hicks and his wonderful family for all the help. Thank you all!