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Duro leaves Shkendija, Akrapović takes over

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Bosnian coach Bruno Akrapović has been revealed as the new manager of Shkendija, replacing Shpëtim Duro.

Somewhat of a surprise at Shkendija. Shkendija is within striking distance of Vardar at the midway point, trailing them by five points at the top of the league table, and reached the semi-finals of the domestic club, but Shkendija management was apparently not satisfied with the performance of Duro. So, on Tuesday, he was let go in favor of Bruno Akrapović.

Akrapović is 48 years old and hails from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He signed a one year contract with Shkendija. He comes to the club with the recommendation of well known Balkan agent Fali Ramadani, who now does the transfer dealings for Shkendija. A family member of his happens to be the sporting director. Despite the ouster of Duro, the assistant coaches will stay the same under Akrapović. Jeton Bekjiri will be the top assistant, while Armend Elezi will continue as the goalkeeping coach.

Akrapović (L) at his presentation; photo: KF ShkendijaAkrapović (L) at his presentation; photo: KF Shkendija

Bruno Akrapović is a former defensive midfielder who played only for Čelik in Bosnia (actually back then in the Yugoslav league) before moving to Germany at the age of 21. He spent the rest of his career playing for various German clubs, among which the likes of Wolfsburg, Mainz and Energie. He also played for the national team of Bosnia-Herzegovina and actually featured in two friendlies against Macedonia, the 1:0 win in 2000 and the legendary 4:4 draw in 2002.

Looking at his coaching career, it is fair to say that Shkendija will be his first serious job. As manager, Akrapović has worked at Croatian lower division sides like Mosor, Val, Solin and Neretva. His last job was at Gibraltar's club College Europa with whom he won the league cup last season.

To sum up, this is a surprising move by Shkendija since they hired a pretty inexperienced coach. They strive to win the double this season (league and cup), and we will have to wait and see if Akrapović is the man that can make that happen.

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