Dragojlo Stanojlovic’s arrival at Mochudi Centre Chiefs has been hailed as a good move by the club’s officials. They have cited his experience in Europe as a positive aspect in their bid to consolidate their place as Botswana’s top team and to establish themselves as a continental force. However, the Serbian tactician is not fluent in English and struggles to communicate with his players. The club has confirmed that his assistant, Darko Gasic, is expected to arrive in Botswana this week. Gasic is more fluent in English according to Chiefs PROClifford Mogomotsi.
The deputy coach will be expected to bridge the communication gap between Stanojlovic, the technical staff and the players. Communication problems normally undermine a coach’s teambuilding efforts because of a struggle to transmit messages to players in a language that they can understand. Despite having communication difficulties, many international coaches have excelled in various countries. Italian tactician Fabio Capello coached the England national team for four years, his struggle to communicate in English was well documented in the country’s press. He guided them to the2010 World Cup knockout stages and helped them qualify for Euro2012 despite those difficulties, he is currently coaching the Russia national team.
Recently a former Argentine player, Mauricio Pochettino, was appointed as the coach of Southampton Football Club despite the fact that he cannot construct sentence in English. He has since excelled at the club through the help of an interpreter. Football analyst and former footballer Fabian Zulu believes that the Serbian’s inability to speak English will not affect his plans. He gave an example of how the coach’s constant touchline activity helped him to transmit his tactics to the players.” In football, language does not affect a coach’s plans. You can express yourself through sign language to illustrate tactics.
Some coaches even give instructions on drawing boards and players can understand what is expected of them. During matches the best way to communicate with players is whistling and using hand signals so Stanojlovic will not struggle to show his players what he wants on the field,” said Zulu.” There are a few local based players who do not understand English but they can interpret messages from their coaches. The presence of Innocent Morapedi will be crucial because he can help give instructions to the Chiefs players once he gets a grip of what the head coach wants the players to do on the field,” he remarked.