Lance Kriesien: Serbia - Regular Season Recap

Photo: Dragan Zabunovic 
The 2013 regular season seems to have just started - yet we find we see another successful season draw to a close this weekend. The SAAF witnessed 8 Elite division teams battle valiantly each week as the league seemed to improve in many ways.

It was obvious early on that there were 3 teams above the average in the first division. Novi Sad surprised a lot of people with their quality of play, as well as their offensive production. Kragujevac usually fields a strong team and so does Vukovi. However, the remainder of the teams played tough, close games. This indicated the level of play throughout the league seems to be on the rise. One of my favorite quotes, "competition breeds excellence" - this seems to be becoming more of a reality each season.

Level of Play
I have noticed a difference in athletic ability with several players I remember from last year and from teams as a whole. I think people are beginning to understand what this game requires to be successful (on and off the field) and are embracing the challenge. Though I believe there is still much room for improvement in regards to preparation, I have noticed a slight difference from last year to this year. People need to understand, there is only so much physical improvement one can acquire in an off-season, however, what you can learn in that same time is almost limitless. The smarter player is always the better player. I think Serbia is on the right track to understanding that key to success.

Overall Impression
We are moving in the right direction, there is no doubt about that. As soon as players, coaches, and management throughout the league commit to preparation and competitiveness in the offseason, the SAAF will easily be regarded as on the top leagues in Europe. Serbia has a lot of talented people involved with football (players and coaches). I look forward to seeing the country continue to grow as it works to establish itself as on of the best to play football in Europe.

Lance Kriesien