Doncic at Valletta Published on: 18-12-2017

Zoran Popovic is no longer the coach of Valletta FC and is set to be replaced by his Serbian compatriot Danilo Doncic. The news of Popovic’s departure was rather unexpected as last Saturday he led the Citizens to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Mosta to bring the gap with pace-setters Balzan to just one point of Prebefore the Christmas break.

He is the eighth top-flight coach to leave his job this season. Popovic confirmed with the Times of Malta yesterday that after protracted talks with the Valletta committee over a new contract during which the two parties failed to reach an agreement led Popovic to inform club president Victor Sciriha that he had decided to return to his country for family reasons.

“I can confirm that I have reached an agreement with Valletta to step down from my post of first team coach,” Popovic told the Times of Malta.

“During the last few weeks I was holding talks with Valletta over a new contract but unfortunately we couldn’t find an agreement to extend our working relationship. The main stumbling block was not the money but we didn’t agree on the project on how to take forward the team.

“I would like to thank the players and the fans for their support and co-operation during the last seven months and I wish Valletta FC the best of luck.”

Popovic had taken charge of Valletta last May following the departure of Paul Zammit.

During his short reign, the former Floriana coach has led the Citizens to the second qualifying round of the Europa League and have been among the protagonists of this season’s title race.

Valletta have already found a replacement for Popovic as they are set to unveil Doncic as the new coach. The Serbian, who has been linked with the City job a number of times in the last few weeks, has agreed personal terms with the Citizens and is expected to put pen to paper on an 18-month contract.

Doncic’s appointment with Valletta will add another chapter to his association with the capital club after he was a club favourite during his three-year spell at the club where he won every domestic honour, netting 58 goals in 62 appearances.

Valletta will be the second club for Doncic this season as he had started guided St Andrews only to leave the post after two games. Doncic’s first game in charge at Valletta will be against Senglea Athletic on January 6.

Source - timesofmalta