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It was a fine day, with the sun shining bright and the village bustling with life. A kind of life I pretty much enjoyed... Everyone goes round their own business all week long, until Saturday afternoon comes. At this point, no soul can be seen in the small village streets, which are reminiscent of the old medieval village that once was the centrepiece of the region.

We were saying, nobody to be seen around on the typical Saturday afternoon. The reason: Everyone is at the stadium, supporting those eleven guys who are always the heroes of the day, be it a win or a defeat. The local football club was, at the end of the day, the scapegoat of the city's troubles and very recent - perhaps too recent - past.

But there was a passion driving it all. A wild and living flame that could either spell my fourtunes or my doom. With all that locked safely in my head, I put pen to paper and signed my name on the contract. I was officially the new manager.

The stadium, "Malim Brdom", was a 500-seater which could also accomodate another 4,500 standing spectators. The village, Petrovac na Moru, was a pictoresque seaside resort in Montenegro, a region of the country nowadays called Serbia & Montenegro (aka Yugoslavia). The main Montenegro city however, remains Podgorica. In football terms, I was the man to change that, or at least that is what I hoped when first appointed.

The 'Black Shirts' Chairman, however, Miodrag Cetkovic, has made it a point that he wants me to save the club from what looks like certain relegation this season. I will aim for a mid-table position, then!

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It was a fine day, with the sun shining bright and the village bustling with life. A kind of life I pretty much enjoyed... Everyone goes round their own business all week long, until Saturday afternoon comes. At this point, no soul can be seen in the small village streets, which are reminiscent of the old medieval village that once was the centrepiece of the region.

We were saying, nobody to be seen around on the typical Saturday afternoon. The reason: Everyone is at the stadium, supporting those eleven guys who are always the heroes of the day, be it a win or a defeat. The local football club was, at the end of the day, the scapegoat of the city's troubles and very recent - perhaps too recent - past.

But there was a passion driving it all. A wild and living flame that could either spell my fourtunes or my doom. With all that locked safely in my head, I put pen to paper and signed my name on the contract. I was officially the new manager.

The stadium, "Malim Brdom", was a 500-seater which could also accomodate another 4,500 standing spectators. The village, Petrovac na Moru, was a pictoresque seaside resort in Montenegro, a region of the country nowadays called Serbia & Montenegro (aka Yugoslavia). The main Montenegro city however, remains Podgorica. In football terms, I was the man to change that, or at least that is what I hoped when first appointed.

The 'Black Shirts' Chairman, however, Miodrag Cetkovic, has made it a point that he wants me to save the club from what looks like certain relegation this season. I will aim for a mid-table position, then!

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We will be plying our trade in the S&M Second Division South (referred to as D2S hereunder), a division comprising 12 clubs, the bottom two of which go down, and the the first gets promoted. The D2S, however, comprised no big names, although the favourites could easily be pinpointed to be FK Buducnost Podgorica, on paper at least.

My first job, however, was to bring in a few backroom staff, since it was just the chairman (Cetkovic), the DoF (Knezevic) and me. Because as they say, "when two's for company, three's a crowd".

So the first newcomers were physios Sipcic and Ciric, scouts Simic and Paunovic and coaches Vukovic and Matijevic. I was still in desperate need, however, of an assistant manager.

With a few guys who could give reliable opinions, I could now meet the squad and check out what was to be changed in little over one month. The team comprised 24 players, of which 23 were S&M nationals and the 24th player coming from unlikely Madagascar.

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The choice of goalkeeper was not a very vast one, having just two 'keepers in the squad. Nikolic and Trajkovic were both fairly good goalkeepers, with any of the two having an equal chance of breaking through as the other. What worried me, though, was their gross inexperience at 21 and 20 years respectively. Seeing them in training however convinced me to let them take their best shot without me splashing out precious money on other guys.

Defence was one area where a major facelift was needed. The pack consisted basically of six full-backs, two centre-backs and two wing-backs. Of which only a select few impressed me.

The left backs, Goran Radojicic, Lazarevic and Urosevic were OK on the whole, though Urosevic would surely leave if any offer came by. On the right side, Milan Radojicic, Nedeljkovic and Ivkovic were all good alternatives to each other. However, the harsh reality is that three full backs are simply too much for a club that will be playing 22 matches at weekly intervals, plus two or three in the cup if luck assists.

The two centre backs were definitely below the required standard, and come by the names Milutin Cetkovic (a 16-year old who is definitely a guy to hold on to, but who isn't a first-teamer yet by any standard) and Branislav Stepanovic (a 40-year old who might have well shined earlier in his career, but probably I came too late to witness his abilities). Two or three centre-backs have to be brought in.

The wing-backs are practically useless in my team, but they might play a fringe role until they are sold for a worthy sum as either step-in wingers or step-in full-backs (this is highly unlikely given the number of players covering those positions). The names are Pavic and Todorovic.

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Midfield seems to be well-equipped, assuming that no injuries (or suspensions) would strike at specific strategic points for the entire duration of the season. On the left side, 19-year-old Misic looks like a great prospect for the future, but he tires very quickly and there's no alternative to him. On the right, there's always the same problem of having no alternatives for the only player who covers the position: Madagascar international José Houzé. A player who covers both positions will be looked for with the prospect of signing him for good.

In the core of midfield, there are way more players that I will ever need in the D2S, with five guys battling out for a maximum of two spots. Djordjevic is a cool young anchorman with the football world at his feet. Ljubisa Zdravkovic is a player at the peak of his career, who would move out in time for Ivkovic to fill in his space. Spasic and Milosevic are actually two great players who add flavour to the battle for that first-team spot.

Upfront five players are available, of which two are clearly not as up-to-it as the other three. The former are Rankovic and Sarac, while the three who'll be fighting to start are Misic, Jovanovic and Zivanovic.

With the entire squad evaluated, it was now time for Simic and Paunovic to do their jobs. I need a right/left winger, two or maybe three centre-backs and an assistant manager.

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5. DEAL!

A certain Igor Levchenko, Ukrainian but with a vast experience in S&M football, was offered the post of Assistant Manager. He said he'd accept unless a big club like Dynamo Kiev or Spartak Moscow called for his help in two weeks' time. Agreeing to his terms, we proceeded to sign the contract which will see him earn € 90 per week.

As for the required players, tens of options were sent in by the two scouts, who literally left no stone unturned and no corner of the world unvisited as they suggested player after player. Some other players who did not play in the positions I felt need some touches were also seen, and in some circumstances the lads were too good to refuse.

After three weeks of hard work, six players made the grade and were offered a contract with OFK Petrovac. They were:

Vlatko Krstev: 19 years - AM© from FYR Macedonia

Sonny McIntosh: 14 years - D(R/L) from US Virgin Islands

Kresimir Loncar: 17 years - AM(L) from Croatia

Kingsley Okafor: 15 years - D(R/C) from Nigeria

János László: 30 years - D© from Hungary

Dragan Janev: 21 years - D/DM© from FYR Macedonia

With the full squad fixed in place, and looking good, it was time to try some tactics on the pitch now. Two low-grade friendlies were organised with the sole aim of seeing the pack in action, and to decide who is going to win the first eleven Blackshirts for the season. These were against Sloga Petrovac and Drezga Piperi.

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 25.7.2002

Petrovac vs Sloga (Pe)

Petrovac swipe aside Sloga in derby match

OFK Petrovac have easily beaten Sloga by three goals to nil to ensure that the village rivalry remains in control of the D2S club. Goals from Jovanovic and Misic in the first half and from substitute Sarac in the second showed that the attackers of OFK Petrovac promise a good season.

Mamo must realise, though, that despite the win the match was not a real test for the defence, which really is the compartment which needs most testing, as Sloga rarely ever got past the halfway line due to questionable passing skills.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 3.8.2002

Petrovac vs Drezga

Unlikely win turned into obvious assumption for Drezga

OFK Petrovac were leaking water all over the place this afternoon as Drezga gave Petrovac a lesson in football, by commanding the game from midfield. The 1-0 victory fails to reflect how much more superior the visitors were. Petrovac also lost Misic for 4 months after he suffered a torn groin muscle.

Mamo should better advise his midfield players to pull up their socks, since not too many teams would forgive such a performance from his players. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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displaced_seagull: Well, rest assured it is!


7. D2S Kicks Off

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 10.8.2002

Petrovac vs Kom

Poor finishing costs Kom dearly

Kom were clearly the superior side in creating chances this afternoon, but Petrovac were the superior side when it came to finishing off those chances. Petrovac ran out 3-1 victors after an excellent performance which however also saw them lose another striker, Sarac, for two months after suffering a fractured arm against Kom.

Mamo gave his players no day-off however, as on Wednesday his team faces a tough away match.


Matches: 1

Standings: Buducnost, Petrovac, Bokelj, Iskra, Mladost (P), Zabjelo 3p; Kom, Celik Uniprom, Jezero, Lovcen, Mornar, Jedistnvo (BP) 0p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 14.8.2002

Iskra vs Petrovac

Iskra collect all three points

Iskra ran out 1-0 winners, collecting all three points to see them take the lead of the D2S. Petrovac feel slighlty aggraved at the fact that the rhythym of the match was dictated by missing players who could have indeed made the difference in the match.

Mamo has however recommended the players that they should concentrate on the next match, since it is a home match and should be won by the home team at all costs.


Matches: 2

Standings: Iskra 6p; Buducnost, Bokelj 4p; Petrovac, Jezero, Kom, Lovcen, Zabjelo, Mladost (P) 3p; Celik Uniprom, Jedistnvo (BP) 1p; Mornar 0p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 17.8.2002

Petrovac vs Mornar

Mornar and Petrovac in checkmate

Despite being the better side for over 80 minutes, Petrovac couldn't break the deadlock, registering their fourth point from a possible nine. Mornar too are off the mark now, making the D2S more exciting even though still in the early phases of the championship. With a cup tie just behind the corner, many pundits are predicting an early exit for Mamo's side.

The Manager agreed that they still weren't up to it and that they'd prefer to abandon the cup, honourably, and concentrate fully on the D2S campaign.


Matches: 3

Standings: Iskra 9p; Kom 6p; Buducnost, Bokelj 5p; Jezero, Lovcen, Petrovac, Mladost (P) 4p; Zabjelo 3p; Jedistnvo (BP) 2p; Celik Uniprom, Mornar 1p

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Montenegro is an incredibly beautiful place -surprised Lovcen have a reasonable team; that's where the Njegos memorial is, a placefrom which you dominate the mountains all around it...breathtaking!

Good luck with your story, I very much enjoyed reading it so far icon14.gif

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OMDave: Thanks for the kind words!


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 21.8.2002 (Cup Tie)

Zora vs Petrovac

No tears as Petrovac abandon Cup

As announced by the club some days before the match, the Cup was not one of the objectives of the club, and Zora were the lucky team to benefit more from this statement. Petrovac fielded a squad comprising 15-year-old Okafor and 40-year-old Stepanovic in defence, paving the way for quick and experiences striker Obradovic to grab a brace for him and his club.

Petrovac officials were not even present for the match, which spells disapproval towards Mamo.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 24.8.2002

Jezero vs Petrovac

Petrovac sorely miss strikers

It seems that injuries are the problem behind Petrovac's poor form. Petrovac, missing four out of their five strikers through injuries, are goalless in 4 matches, entering a dangerous phase where they could be sucked in the relegation battle. Jezero won 1-0 thanks to the only shot they got on goal against some 15 shots by the visitors.

Mamo said the matter will be dealt with somewhere away from the press conference room.


Matches: 4

Standings: Iskra 12p; Buducnost 8p; Jezero 7p; Kom 6p; Bokelj, Lovcen 5p; Mladost (P), Petrovac, Mornar, Celik Uniprom 4p; Zabjelo, Jedinstvo (BP) 3p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 31.8.2002

Petrovac vs Jedinstvo (BP)

Useless point for both teams

Petrovac and Jedistnvo (BP) cancelled out each other with a brilliant tactical show. It was a matter of whose nerves broke down to get a winner, and both elevens showed that they can be as determined as anybody else. JBP opened the score, and Petrovac left it 'til late to obtain what they fully deserved when Jovanovic scored the equaliser.

Both managers congratulated each other at the end of the match, promising each other an even harder test in the return match in November.


Matches: 5

Standings: Iskra 13p; Buducnost 9p; Jezero 8p; Kom 7p; Bokelj, Lovcen 6p; Mladost (P), Petrovac, Mornar, Celik Uniprom 5p; Zabjelo, Jedistnvo (BP) 4p

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 4.9.2002

Buducnost vs Petrovac

Buducnost come out on top

It was a game of two halves this afternoon as Petrovac went in for the break with a two-goal lead (Zivanovic, Jovanovic) but left the second half all to the home team, who came out as 4-2 winners. Unfortunately for Petrovac, no points are awarded to who wins a half.

Mamo is concerned about the team's recent performances and would not release any official statements.


Matches: 6

Standings: Iskra 16p; Buducnost 12p; Bokelj, Jezero 9p; Kom 8p; Jedistnvo (BP) 7p; Celik Uniprom, Mladost (P), Lovcen 6p; Petrovac, Mornar 5p; Zabeljo 4p

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 14.9.2002

Mladost (P) vs Petrovac

Problems get more evident

Petrovac slumped to yet another defeat in the afternoon, as Mladost (P) collected a thoroughly undeserved three points. Petrovac couldn't defend the lead scored by Zivanovic and ended up conceding two late goals to make the defeats four in seven.

Rumor has it that the Board of Directors are losing confidence in Mamo's managerial abilities.


Matches: 7

Standings: Iskra 19p; Buducnost 15p; Bokelj 12p; Jezero, Mladost (P), Lovcen 9p; Mornar, Kom 8p; Jedistnvo (BP) 7p; Celik Uniprom 6p; Petrovac5p; Zabjelo 4p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 21.9.2002

Petrovac vs Lovcen

Lovcen surprised by Petrovac

Petrovac finally managed to gather another point as Mamo turned the team upside down in midweek. Djordjevic opened the score, and some good play saw the entertainng match able to go either way. Lovcen eventually equalised, but the good play continued and Zivanovic scored a late penalty to pull Petrovac out of the last two spots.

Everyone at Petrovac will be looking to improve upon this performance to life the side into mid-table as soon as possible.


Matches: 8

Standings: Iskra 22p; Buducnost 15p; Bokelj, Jezero, Mladost (P) 12p; Kom 11p; Lovcen, Mornar 9p; Petrovac, Jedistnvo (BP) 8p; Celik Uniprom 6p; Zabjelo 4p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 28.9.2002

Petrovac vs Bokelj

Petrovac back to old ways

Petrovac where thumped by high-flying Bokelj. No news there, it seems, but Petrovac's problems do not end there. The injured players, after this match, amount to a noble figure of eight, all of which, without exception, are considered to be first-teamers. It seems that this season will be one to remind Lady Luck about by the Petrovac supporters.

Meanwhile, Mamo has ordered his whole squad, including backroom staff, not to speak to the media, in a bid to have his players concentrated for their performances.


Matches: 9

Standings: Iskra 25p; Buducnost 18p; Mladost (P), Bokelj 15p; Kom 14p; Jezero 12p; Lovcen, Celik Uniprom, Mornar 9p; Jedistnvo (BP), Petrovac8p; Zabjelo 4p

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 12.10.2002

Celik Uniprom vs Petrovac

Celik just manage their win

Celik Uniprom are the latest team to have swept aside Petrovac this season. The 1-0 win does not reflect their supremacy throught the game, which could have easily ended four or five goals to nil. Petrovac are in deep relegation trouble, and only a win in the next match can show that they indeed do have a fighting chance.

Mamo keeps refusing to talk to the media, but the latter are rumoring that Mamo might be the first one out of Montenegro.


Matches: 10

Standings: Iskra 25p; Buducnost 19p; Bokelj 18p; Mladost (p) 16p; Kom 15p; Jezerov 14p; Lovcen, Celik Uniprom 12p; Mornar 10p; Jedistnvo (BP) 9p; Petrovac 8p; Zabjelo 4p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 16.10.2002

Zabjelo vs Petrovac

Eight-goal match goes neither way

Petrovac lost a golden opportunity to bounce back to winning ways as they drew 4-4 away at Zabejlo. The visitors opened a three-goal lead by the half hour mark, with goals coming from Zivanovic (penalty), Loncar and Rankovic. However, Zabejlo equalised within ten minutes to see the half-time score rest on three apiece. In the second half, Petrovac retook the lead, this time Zdravkovic scoring, only to concede yet another goal which did keep the bottom spot away, but surely saw the teams above sigh relieved.

Mamo came close to breaking the silence, but limited himself to just a smile to the reporters. He later let Zivanovic talk to the press. The youngster simply said that he believes the manager can turn the club around, and that all this attention on Petrovac is due to them having a new man at the helm, for they were in fact always considered a club that had to fight against relegation, season after season. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Matches: 11

Standings: Iskra 28p; Buducnost 19p; Kom, Bokelj 18p; Jezero, Mladost (P) 16p; Celik Uniprom 15p; Mornar 13p; Lovcen 12p; Jedistnvo (BP), Petrovac 9p; Zabejlo 5p

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Tyrone: 10x, I appreciate


8. D2S: Part Two

With the second round of matches behind the corner, I felt the need to approach the two giants of S&M and Belgrade, Red Star and Partizan, to try to loan a defender from each side. While Partizan refused to loan me their transfer-listed player Vasiljevic, but Red Star agreed to let Cuban centre back De La Iglesia to consider joining me until the end of the season. However, he did not reply within the time required by me to use him in the next match.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 19.10.2002

Kom vs Petrovac

Own goal hands Petrovac lucky but deserved point

Another fairly good performance by Petrovac was going wrong again, as Kom opened a two-goal lead in the middle of the second half. Zivanovic halved the gap after a few minutes, and an own goal by Filipovic secured them another precious point.

Mamo only came out to speak about De La Iglesia, who decided to join the club on loan from Red Star Belgrade. Mamo said that hopefully the Belgrade club's winning mentality can be transmitted to Petrovac through the youngster. He also announced, quite surprisingly, that Zeljko Pavlovic will also be joining Petrovac for a year in the near future from the same club. Pavlovic is a midfield player.


Matches: 12

Standings: Sorry but I forgot all about the standings icon_frown.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 26.10.2002

Petrovac vs Iskra

Brave Petrovac give Iskra a hard time

Petrovac gained a suprise point against league runaway leaders Iskra after a brilliant tactical performance which saw the visitors being limited to long range shots. Petrovac found themselves a goal down, needless to say, but sole striker Rankovic scored a great goal to claim the point.

Though nowehere near safety, Petrovac now sit in third-from bottom spot, and with improving performances.


Matches: 13

Standings: Iskra 32p; Buducnost 25p; Bokelj 24p; Kom 20p; Jezero 19p; Celik Uniprom, Mladost (P), Mornar 16p; Lovcen 15p; Petrovac 11p; Jedinstvo (BP) 9p; Zabjelo 7p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 2.11.2002

Mornar vs Petrovac

Petrovac unbeaten in 4 games

Petrovac continued their good recent run with a win over Mornar. The visitors took the lead in mid-first half (Zivanovic) and administered the game, adding a second through substitute Jovanovic. Mornar then lost a man through a red card, but Houze' soon followed suit after a second bookable offence. Mornar pulled one back but the were too late to thrust themselves into contending any points.

After the match, Petrovac officials were heard saying that Mamo has practically ruined their plans after these recent 6 points won. But they had a happy air about it.


Matches: 14

Standings: Iskra 25p; Bokelj 27p; Buducnost 25p; Kom 23p; Jezero 22p; Mladost (P) 19p; Celik Uniprom, Mornar 16p; Lovcen 15p; Petrovac 14p; Jedinstvo (BP) 9p; Zabejlo 7p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 6.11.2002

Petrovac vs Jezero

Jezero held as well

Petrovac continued on their quest to maintain their D2S status by winning yet another unlikely point, this time against Jezero. To be fair, Jezero were deservant of more than one point, however, at the same time one must credit Petrovac's performance, which saw Zivanovic hit another goal, giving his side the lead on the occasion.

Mamo said that he was not expecting such a sudden change of tendency, but was enjoying it. He found time and space to praise particular players, focusing on De La Iglesias who seemed to have added substance to the rear guard.


Matches: 15

Standings: Iskra 38p; Bokelj 30p; Buducnost 28p; Kom, Jezero 23p; Mladost (P) 19p; Lovcen 18p; Celik Uniprom, Mornar 16p; Petrovac 15p; Zabjelo 10p; Jedinstvo (BP) 9p

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 16.11.2002

Petrovac vs Buducnost

Petrovac spoil it at the end

Petrovac lost three points from their hand after a late brace for Buducnost. Petrovac opened a two-goal lead thanks to Misic, who finally debuted after a long injury, but Buducnost soon clawed one back in the second half. Two goals in the last four minutes saw Buducnost get all three points, upsetting Petrovac who had shot up to seventh position at that moment in time.

Mamo said that he was disappointed, but still had hope for a mid table finish, as he had claimed before the first kick of a ball.


Matches: 16

Standings: Iskra 41p; Bokelj 33p; Buducnost 31p; Jezero 26p; Kom 23p; Mladost (P) 22p; Lovcen 18p; Celik Uniprom, Mornar 16p; Petrovac 15p; Zabjelo 13p; Jedinstvo (BP) 9p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 23.11.2002

Jedinstvo (BP) vs Petrovac

Jedinstvo (BP) steal a point

Petrovac and Jedinstvo (BP) played out an entertaining match which saw no team beating the other despite Petrovac taking the lead twice, first through Jovanovic and then through Misic. Petrovac managed to climb to fourth-from bottom though as Mornar's poor form continued.

Mamo commented on the fact that the standings were as short as could be and that in truth six from the bottom seven clubs were within five points of each other. An advantage to Petrovac, and a disadvantage to the others on top. Mamo hopes we can be talking of disadvantages soon...


Matches: 17

Standings: Iskra 41p; Bokelj 36p; Buducnost 34p; Jezero 27p; Kom 26p; Mladost (P) 22p; Celik Uniprom 19p; Lovcen 18p; Petrovac, Mornar 16p; Zabjelo 14p; Jedinstvo (BP) 10p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 30.11.2002

Bokelj vs Petrovac

A day to forget for Petrovac

Petrovac succumbed to a 4-0 defeat to runners-up Bokelj this afternoon, while at the same time all direct competition were earning precious points. Petrovac simply couldn't match their opponents and came close to scoring only one over 90 minutes, in the dying seconds of the match.

Mamo said he was clearly disappointed with the lads' performance, but that there was still half the season left to play and that it wouldn't be over 'til the very end.


Matches: 18

Standings: Iskra 41p; Bokelj 39p; Buducnost 35p; Jezero 30p; Kom 27p; Mladost (P) 25p; Celik Uniprom 20p; Lovcen 18p; Mornar 17p; Petrovac 16p; Zabejlo 15p; Jedinstvo (BP) 11p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 7.12.2002

Petrovac vs Mladost (P)

Checkmate good for none

Petrovac and Mladost (P) cancelled out each other this afternoon in a vivid match which saw no goals being scored from a high number of opportunities which could be equally divided by the teams. Petrovac could recriminate, though, as the referee didn't concede what was an appaerently obvious penalty.

Mamo claimed that although it was just one point they got from this match, it was against superior opposition and that it was precious in the fight for survival.


Matches: 19

Standings: Iskra 44p; Bokelj 42p; Buducnost 38p; Jezero 30p; Kom 27p; Mladost (P) 26p; Celik Uniprom 21p; Mornar 20p; Lovcen 19p; Petrovac 17p; Zabejlo 15p; Jedinstvo (BP) 11p

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 22.2.2003

Lovcen vs Petrovac

Lovcen steal the show

A good match by Petrovac - a victory for Lovcen. That is the only way this match can be summarized, as Petrovac had the initiative for all the match, but it was a 90th minute corner which was the culprit for ending up with empty hands, once again.

Mamo said that this is the time the fans must be heard supporting the club, and that once this season is seen off, pastures new can finally be seeked. He answered a journalist who misinterpreted him as saying that he'll be quitting at the end of the season.


Matches: 20

Standings: Iskra 47p; Bokelj 45p; Buducnost 38p; Jezero 33p; Mladost (P), Kom 27p; Lovcen 22p; Celik Uniprom, Mornar 21p; Petrovac 17p; Zabejlo 16p; Jedinstvo (BP) 12p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 1.3.2003

Petrovac vs Celik Uniprom

Another checkmate

Another 0-0 result saw Petrovac record their ninth draw of the season, despite desperately needing three-pointers at this point of the season. Celik could accuse the injuries they had to deal with in the prior weeks for not winning here, although Petrovac did put up their good show.

Mamo said that everyone's at the club giving his outmost to obtain the desired results, and that whoever works with the responsibility and seriousness his group is, is bound to get the results at the end of the day.


Matches: 21

Standings: Iskra 50p; Bokelj 45p; Buducnost 41p; Jezero 33p; Mladost (P) 30p; Kom 27p; Lovcen 23p; Celik Uniprom 22p; Mornar 21p; Petrovac 18p; Zabjelo 17p; Jedinstvo (BP) 15p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 8.3.2003

Petrovac vs Zabjelo

Petrovac win in crucial match

Petrovac have shown that they have what it takes in important matches, winning a match which they couldn't lose at any cost. Zabjelo sprang ahead early in the match, but some good craft and vision by Krstev saw Jovanovic and Zivanovic score the two goals that mattered most.

Mamo declared himself happy with the win and that now that the final third of the season is underway he wants more of the same.


Matches: 22

Standings: Iskra 51p; Bokelj 46p; Buducnost 44p; Jezero 33p; Mladost (P) 31p; Kom 27p; Lovcen 26p; Celik Uniprom 25p; Mornar 22p; Petrovac 21p; Zabjelo 17p; Jedinstvo (BP) 15p

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9. Chapter III - The Moment of Truth

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 12.3.2003

Petrovac vs Kom

Defence lets Mamo down

Petrovac have yet again lost an excellent chance of winning three points after being 3-0 up and finnshing the match on a 3-3 scoreline. Ivkovic, Misic and Zivanovic opened a three-goal lead which saw their team go happily relaxed into the dressing room. However, in the second half, Kom scored twice and once again through a penalty to obtain the unlikeliest of points.

Mamo was outraged at the defence, which has proven to be the culprit this afternoon, despite Mamo's attempt to defend them whilst criticise them objectively.


Matches: 23

Standings: Iskra 51p; Bokelj 49p; Buducnost 47p; Jezero 33p; Mladost (P) 32p; Lovcen 29p; Kom, Celik Uniprom 28p; Mornar 23p; Petrovac 22p; Zabjelo 17p; Jedisntvo (BP) 15p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 15.3.2003

Iskra vs Petrovac

League leaders cruise past Petrovac

League leaders Iskra cancelled some of their latest performances' errors to overcome Petrovac, in serious difficulties through the match, by a five-without-reply scoreline. It was a fine day for Boskovic who netted four of his side's five goals.

Mamo said he was thoroughly disappointed by the lack of ideas on the pitch, and also stated that all the midweek preperations are not worth a dime if come matchday nobody cares if they win or lose.


Matches: 24

Standings: Iskra 54p; Bokelj 52p; Buducnost 50p; Jezero 34p; Mladost (P) 33p; Kom 31p; Lovcen 29p; Celik Uniprom 28p; Mornar 26p; Petrovac 22p; Zabjelo 17p; Jedinstvo (BP) 15p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 5.4.2003

Jezero vs Petrovac

Petrovac no match for Jezero

Jezero had no problem in sweeping aside the challenged posed by Petrovac, winning 2-0 in a one-sided match which saw Petrovac's morale hit rock-bottom after fellow contenders Jedinstvo (BP) registered an imprtant win. This leaves Petrovac with little space for further errors, and winning now is not an option, but a must.

Mamo confessed himself still confident of his players' ability and that recent addition Uros Lazic (on loan from Sutjeska) should provide assurances in defence as of next match.


Matches: 25

Standings: Iskra 57p; Bokelj 52p; Buducnost 51p; Jezero 37p; Mladost (P) 34p; Kom, Celik Uniprom 31p; Lovcen, Mornar 29p; Petrovac 22p; Jedinstvo (BP) 18p; Zabjelo 17p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 12.4.2003

Petrovac vs Mornar

Petrovac thump Mornar in best match this season

Petrovac showed that albeit inconsistently, they can still manage a few three-pointers here and there, with Mornar providing the unlucky lot to have suffered a 4-0 defeat against the Blackshirts. The goals were scored by Jovanovic (first half), twice Krstev and Rankovic.

Mamo had nothing to say except to challenge the media into assuming Petrovac were already relegated. He made it a point to underline his side's seven point advantage over the second-from-bottom side.


Matches: 26

Standings: Iskra 60p; Bokelj 55p; Buducnost 51p; Jezero, Mladost (P) 37p; Kom 34p; Lovcen 32p; Celik Uniprom 31p; Mornar 29p; Petrovac 25p; Jedinstvo (BP) 18p; Zabjelo 17p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 19.4.2003

Petrovac vs Jedinstvo (BP)

Petrovac win the match that means everything

Petrovac put in an excellent performance to see relegation fighters off in 'Malim Brdom' this afternoon, producing two goals against nil, courtesy of Loncar and Jovanovic. Jedinstvo (BP) made it clear they'd be no pushovers in the battle for a D2S place next season, though, having their own fair share of chances, although Petrovac were by far the better side for the day.

Mamo said he was delighted, and with ten points ahead of competition, and just six matches to go, he was looking to gain safety as soon as possible. He reminded those present that out of the six matches still to be played, four were away ties and two of them were against second-placed and third-placed opposition.


Matches: 27

Standings: Iskra 63p; Bokelj 58p; Buducnost 54p; Jezero 38p; Kom, Mladost (P) 37p; Lovcen 32p; Celik Uniprom 31p; Mornar 29p; Petrovac 28p; Zabjelo, Jedinstvo (BP) 18p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 23.4.2003

Buducnost vs Petrovac

Buducnost remind Petrovac about heirarchy

Petrovac crashed to a 4-1 defeat away to third-placed Buducnost, despite Krstev managing to equalise midway through the second half. Late goals saw Petrovac abandon hope of gaining any points this afternoon, unlike Zabjelo who beat Jedinstvo (BP) in a direct encounter which saw them come to -7 from third-from-bottom Petrovac.

Mamo said today's results were to be expected, but before a match everyone has the right, and indeed duty, to dream of a 'strange' result that would serve his purpose.


Matches: 28

Standings: Iskra 64p; Bokelj 61p; Buducnost 57p; Jezero 39p; Kom 38p; Mladost (P) 37p; Celik Uniprom 34p; Lovcen 32p; Mornar 30p; Petrovac 28p; Zabjelo 21p; Jedinstvo (BP) 18p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 26.4.2003

Petrovac vs Bokelj

Bokelj face no big problems

Bokelj easily brushed aside strugglers Petrovac to consolidate their second position, but given the competition hasn't done too well, Petrovac won't be troubled too much. Manager, Board and Players are all united together to make the best of what's still left.

Krstev, a rather inconsistent performer, spoke to the press, admitting that he may have a fault in the way the season's gone, but said he hoped everything keeps going as it is right now, since it could mean staying up and living to fight another day.


Matches: 29

Standings: Iskra 67p; Bokelj 64p; Buducnost 60p; Jezero, Kom 39p; Mladost 38p; Celik Uniprom 35p; Lovcen 33p; Mornar 31p; Petrovac 28p; Zabjelo 21p; Jedinstvo (BP) 19p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 3.5.2003

Mladost (P) vs Petrovac

Mladost (P) enjoy stolen 3 points

Mladost (P) won by the narrowest of scorelines (1-0) to secure three points which could, and should, have gone Petrovac's way. With three matches to go, nothing is certain, not even in the promotion fight, as this afternoon Iskra fell into second place, with Bokelj becoming league leaders for the first time.

Mamo voiced his excitement at how the season is unfolding, but stated he preferred a boring championship where his club were certain of their destiny than that he's actually living and seeing.


Matches: 30

Standings: Bokelj, Iskra 67p; Buducnost 61p; Mladost (P) 41p; Kom 40p; Jezero 39p; Lovcen 36p; Celik Uniprom 35p; Mornar 34p; Petrovac 28p; Jedinstvo 22p; Zabjelo 21p

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 10.5.2003

Celik Uniprom vs Petrovac

Another point for Petrovac

Petrovac might be happy that they came back home with a point, but frustrated at the fact that they lost two in five minutes, conceding three goals after being 3-0 up up til the 85th minute. Rankovic and Jovanovic, twice, secured a win that would have seen Petrovac inflict relegation upon their competition, but unfortunately for them goalkeeper Nikolic was not in good mood and let in three goals which could have serious implications, given Jedinstvo (BP)'s recent form.

Mamo expressed his worry, but also his delusion at the fact that luck was definitely not on his side this campaign.


Matches: 31

Standings: Bokelj 70p; Iskra 67p; Buducnost 61p; Mladost (P) 44p; Kom 40p; Jezero, Lovcen 39p; Mornar 37p; Celik Uniprom 36p; Petrovac 29p; Jedinstvo (BP) 25p; Zabjelo 21p

Notes: -> Zabjelo relegated

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 17.5.2003

Zabjelo vs Petrovac

Relegated Zabjelo beat Petrovac

Petrovac succumbed to yet another defeat, this time against relegated Zabjelo. With Jedinstvo (BP) gaining good points, the very last match of the season will decide who survives this long hard season.

Petrovac manager Mamo looked worried enough during the press conference, but once again he said they will make it. But everybody seems to be wondering who he is trying to fool.


Matches: 32

Standings: Bokelj 71p; Iskra 68p; Buducnost 61p; Mladost (P) 45p; Kom 43p; Jezero 42p; Lovcen 39p; Mornar 38p; Celik Uniprom 37p; Petrovac 29p; Jedinstvo (BP) 26p; Zabjelo 24p\

Notes: -> Zabjelo relagated

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 24.5.2003

Petrovac vs Lovcen

Petrovac end it in style

Petrovac won convincingly against an unmotivated Lovcen side to secure D2S football next season. Had they lost, they would still not have been relegated since Jedinstvo (BP) failed to win thier match. The match ended 4-2, with Lovcen first taking the lead, but with Petrovac turning it around thanks to Spasic, Jovanovic and Jovanovic again. Lovcen then pulled one back, only to have Lazic score a penalty, ensuring the three points.

Mamo came into the conference room brimming with confidence, amongst other things that he would still be at the helm next season. He promised an in-depth analysis of the season for the fans, but also that next year will definitely not be like this one, stating that players have already been targeted and negotiations begun.


Matches: 33

Standings: Bokelj 74p; Iskra 68p; Buducnost 64p; Mladost (P) 48p; Kom 43p; Jezero 42p; Mornar 41p; Celik Uniprom 40p; Lovcen 39p; Petrovac 32p; Jedinstvo (BP) 26p; Zabjelo 24p

-> Bokelj promoted

-> Jedinstvo (BP) and Zabjelo relegated

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10. Season II - Do or Die

With the first season (2002/3) under the belt, the winners and the losers can be defined.

First with the trophies. Partizan Belgrade managed the domestic double as well as a creditable UEFA Cup semi-final, which they lost to Arsenal. Arsenal went on to lose the final, against Danish club FC Copenhagen. The UEFA Champions' League, however, went into the hands of Barcelona, who thumped Feyenoord 4-1 in the last act.

As for Petrovac. Well, not much can be saved from this season, perhaps a couple of players, Loncar, Zivanovic, Krstev, Jovanovic and Laszlo and just a few performances over the entire season. Out of 34 matches, we lost 16 (one in the cup against Zora, who surprisingly went on until the quarters), drew 11 and won just seven. We scored 43 times, and conceded 62 (goal difference -19).

Nevertheless, we deserved a lot more than we collected this season. Harvest has been bad indeed. Lazslo was the only player to feature in all 34 matches, and the top scorer was Jovanovic, with 12 goals in 19(4) matches. The top performer, so to speak, was goalkeeper Nikolic, with a 6.83 rating in 12 appearances. Still, it was Krstev and Janev who were picked in the team of the year for D2S.

That said, it was a question of having a two-week break before starting battling and bargaining to build a decent team for next season.

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With a short break past, the chairman and I started working hard to find suitable players to add to the squad. The chairman made it clear that we had just € 50K in the kitty, so we would have to look for out-of-contract players mostly. That was no problem, I thought. But truth was we were a Montenegro club with little, if any, accountable income and we had to make space for players by actually cutting others off. First offboard was left winger Misic, who agreed to join Bor for next to nothing. Urosevic soon left too, for the same fee, destination Hajduk Veljko. Stepanovic retired, but it still wasn't enough, it seemed.

Next wave of players out were the loaned players, who returned to their respective clubs. These include De La Iglesia, Pavlovic and Lazic. US Virgin Islands Youngster McIntosh was also relieved of his youth contract. Houze' was also let free after he refused numerous offers to extend his contract. With a host of clubs bidding for his signature, it's a possibility that he'll be up against us in the near future. Milan Radojicic left for € 14K, to play with Rudar (P).

With nine players out, we could now start concentrating on who had to come in. First looked at were some reliable goalkeepers, hopefully with a lower wage demand than Trajkovic and Nikolic (both on € 875). There wasn't need for much persuasion to obtain Swedish goaler (who also boasts one cap) Daniel Dahlberg into signing for us. He will earn € 550 weekly. In defence, 17-year-old Marcio and 18-year-old Leandro Fonseca, both Brazilian, agreed to join forces with us too, in the hope of being spotted by a bigger European club. A Ukrainian midfielder, 17 years old, Andriy Kravchenko, also joined on a permanent contract. Cameroon youngster Samuel Ateba will try to replace Houze', but since he is still so young a temporary relief might be brought in, perhaps on loan. Upfront was were the problems were. Nobody wanted to bang them in for us, and that was bad news for us. After weeks of scouting, we finally arrived at the right place. Senegal. And at the right time. Ibrahima Gomis was playing street football. Just luckyily enough we had a pen and paper with us, and an extra airplane ticket. And we were off to Montenegro, all of us. Tomasz Sokolowski joined on loan from Red Star.

The new squad for the forthcoming season is made of the following players:

Goalkeepers - Dahlberg D., Nikolic N., Trajkovic I.

Defenders - Ivkovic D., Nedeljekovic D., Radojicic G., Lazarevic D., Fonseca L., Janev D., Laszlo J., Marcio, Okafor K., Cetkovic M.

Midfielders - Pavic I., Todorovic M., Djordjevic D., Ivkovic S., Kravchenko A., Zdravkovic L., Ateba S., Loncar K., Krstev V., Milosevic S., Spasic D.

Strikers - Jovanovic I., Rankovic B., Gomis I., Misic N., Sarac D., Zivanovic M., Sokolowski T.

With the squad complete (bar a spur-of the moment interest in a player), it was time to fix some warm-up games. To create a sense of team, I decided we would be going on a tour this season. Destination? Well, it was going to be somewhere where we could draw the crowds, but not expensive. We bought tickets for Latvia, where we would face Skonto, RAF Jelgava and FK Riga. In the meantime, left winger Trifunovic was promoted from the youth academy.

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The Latvian tour went on as planned, with the team obtaining good wins on Latvian soil. Skonto were hit 2-0 (Zivanovic, Gomis), RAF 1-0 (Loncar) and FK Riga 3-0 (S. Ivkovic, Gomis, Lazarevic). However, it was our return into Montenegro that would leave me deeply shocked. Whilst having gained D2S football for this season, the FA decided to relegate Petrovac to make space for an extra club that was relegated from the First Division the season before. Translation: First Division cut from 18 to 16 squads, and these two extra squads have stripped us, and Kom too, for some obscure reason, off our rightful and hard-earned place among the cadetes.

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Non-story post

So basically I am still manager but we have no league matches this season! Would the AI automatically work out who gets promoted into the D2 next season? Cos I don't wanna spend seasons on end down in D3... icon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon13.gif

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We were indeed unfairly pushed out of the D2S for the 2003/4 season, but while I was in charge, I still demanded serious training from my players. And part of the training was to be friendly matches, some tougher than others obviously, to find us ready for our future matches. Friendlies played along the season include:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre"> August - December 2003

MB Cup (Sf) H Drezga 3-1 (Sokolowski, Jovanovic, Laszlo)

MB Cup (Fi) H BASK 3-0 (Sokolowski, Jovanovic 2)

Friendly H Vaolongolongo TGA 6-0 (Jovanovic 3, Sokolowski 2, Kravchenko)

Friendly A Spartak Yerevan ARM 2-0 (Sokolowski, Jovanovic)

Friendly H Dinamo Vranje 2-1 (Sokolowski 2)

Friendly H El Borac 4-1 (Marcio, Sokolowski, Jovanovic 2)

Friendly A Dinamo Moscow RUS 2-3 (Sokolowski 2)

PnM Trophy (Sf) H FC Nitra SVK 1-2 (Sokolowski)

PnM Trophy (3p) H Unyespor TUR 1-2 (Sokolowski)

Friendly H RAF Jelgava LVA 2-2 (Sokolowski, Jovanovic)

Friendly H Bor 6-1 (Sokolowski 2, Jovanovic 3, Ateba)

Friendly H Sloga Petrovac 0-1

Friendly H Zupanica 4-1 (Jovanovic 2, Ateba, Milic og)

Friendly H Elektrovojvodina 1-4 (Kravchenko)

Friendly A Metalist Kharkiv UKR 0-6

Petrovac - played 15; won 8, drawn 1, lost 6; scored 37, conceded 25 (gd +12); points 25

February - May 2004

Friendly H Djerdap 1-1 (Solokowski)

Friendly H IMT 5-2 (Gomis 3, Jovanovic 2)

Friendly H Balkanski 7-0 (Ateba 2, Gomis 4, Jovanovic)

Friendly H Sloga Petrovac 2-2 (Gomis 2)

Friendly A Mika ARM 1-2 (Gomis)

Friendly H Green Gully AUS 3-1 (Gomis, Jovanovic, Kravchenko)

Friendly H Polet (K) 2-2 (Gomis, Kravchenko)

Friendly H Elektrovojvodina 3-4 (Marcio, Gomis 2)

Friendly H Gusinje 1-1 (Rankovic)

Friendly H Buducnost (K) 4-0 (Rankovic, Gomis 2, Kravchenko)

Friendly H Hull City ENG 1-4 (Gomis)

Petrovac - played 11; won 4, drawn 2, lost 3; scored 30, conceded 19 (gd +11); points 14

Total this season - played 26; won 12, drawn 3, lost 9; scored 67, conceded 44 (gd +23); points 39 </pre>

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The 2003/4 season was a strange season for me, the first after years without any league matches and pressure. However, I am a bit apprehensive about when, and how, we'd get to playing football again. With a strong side, which will be further strengthened in the weeks ahead, we could easily estabilish ourselves in the Second Division and maybe attempt promotion in a few years' time. But it all depended on the FA.

Meanwhile, the trophies found their respective places in various cabinets. Partizan won the league with an astonishing unbeaten record. They coupled that to the Cup, winning the double for the second time running. Red Star, the finalists, could only be consoled with their manager's head.

European glory found its way to England, via Man Utd (winners of the UEFA Cup, beating Newcastle Utd in the final) and Spain, with Genk succumbing to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions' League final. Euro 2004 went into the hands of Germany (who overcame England in the final).

The close season saw some changes being done to the Petrovac squad, in hope that we will be promoted to the Second Division. Sarac was allowed to leave on contract expiry, as happened with loaned striker Sokolowski (who had suffered a slipped disc, and is out for nine months, during a friendly match in February) and goalkeeper Trajkovic. Spasic, a fine player but who unfortunately cannot perform well at the club, was allowed to move to Proleter for 22 thousand Euro. I am also hoping to offload Zivanovic, who seems to be a good player, but with Spasic's same problem of underperforming here at Petrovac.

Players going out, players coming in. The squad needs only a few well-thought changes to be able to compete against much stronger sides. A striker, a midfielder and perhaps a consistent defender are all the side really needs. However, two wingers, one for each side, could come in quite handy as the season progresses.

The faces brought in were matched to the squad's requirements, and came in the form of Brendan O'Brien (25-year-old defensive midfielder from Rep of Ireland), Emmanuel Amoako (28-year-old forward from Ghana) and Sergio Cavalcante (17-year-old Brazilian fantasist). Players covering other positions will be sought in the future, as there are no appetizing options at the moment.

However, the biggest change was my resignation, after a few days of deep reflection. In reality, I had got to know that Petrovac were not to be promoted this season, facing another year (at least) in the lower ranches of the Serbia and Montenegro leagues. But that was not the only reason why I decided to call it a day at Petrovac. I was offered another job...

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