*** ----> Talajic named new Bahrain national football team head coach | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Talajic named new Bahrain national football team head coach

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Croatian Dragan Talajic was yesterday named the new head coach of Bahrain’s senior men’s national football team.

This was announced by the Bahrain Football Association (BFA).

Talajic is taking over for Argentinian tactician Juan Antonio Pizzi, whose two-year contract was terminated last week with mutual consent after just over half-a-year in the job.

The BFA said in a statement that Talajic’s appointment comes based on the recommendation of the BFA’s national teams committee and following the approval of the BFA board, headed by BFA president Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

The BFA board has assigned Talajic to form members of his technical staff, who will be assisting him in leading the national team.

Talajic is expected to arrive in the Kingdom over the next few days.

Meanwhile, the BFA has also announced the appointment of the national team’s administrative staff. Mahmoud Riyadh has been appointed as team manager, while Ahmd Malallah and Arhama Al Thawadi are team administrators.

Talajic, 58, was a former goalkeeper. He began his coaching career in 2003, and has extensive experience in guiding clubs in the region.

He has coached three clubs in Bahrain, including Riffa, East Riffa and most recently Al Khaldiya from late 2020 to mid-2022.

During this period, he helped Khaldiya claim their first-ever HM the King’s Cup title in 2022.

Talajic is taking charge of Bahrain as they compete in the joint-qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027.

Currently in the second round of qualification, Bahrain are in Group H where they are currently second on the table with three points from their first two matches.

The UAE lead with six points, Yemen are third on three points and Nepal last with zero points so far.

The Bahrainis resume their qualification bid next month when they travel to Kathmandu to face Nepal on March 21.

They then host the Nepalese at home on March 26.

Their final two games of this qualifying round will be against Yemen at home on June 6, and then away against the UAE on June 11.

At the end of this stage, the winners and runners-up of each of the nine groups advance to the third round of FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers, while also booking their direct tickets to the AFC Asian Cup 2027.