Upon hanging up the boots, most players look to stay involved within the sport they love most.
Post-football career, players take different paths.
A small amount stay away from the game completely, while others become directors, scouts, agents etc.
Most ex-players though, take a different position on the pitch and become coaches with a vision of not only staying in the game but offering what they know to younger and up and coming stars.
After quite an illustrious football career, Milan Susak signed with his boyhood club, the Bonnyrigg White Eagles in 2017.
Unfortunately, a knee injury in pre-season forced Susak to require surgery which subsequently meant his premature retirement from football.
The former Hyundai A-League champion was quick to put the disappointment behind him and turn his attention to coaching.
“It wasn’t a tough decision for me to ‘hang the boots up’ as the injury was enough.”
At the end of the 2017 season, Cliff Pointer announced his own retirement, this time from coaching at the White Eagles and Brian ‘Bomber’ Brown’s assistant.
With a UEFA ‘C’ coaching license and his extensive football experiences around the world, Susak was an obvious choice for the team from Bonnyrigg and Brown.
“When the Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC opportunity came knocking, it was an easy decision to make for me”, said Susak.
The former defender will work alongside decorated NPL NSW Men’s coach Brian Brown, a prospect he cannot wait to commence.
“It’s easy with Bomber, we have the same football thinking and training.
“We have a good relationship, the players are enjoying the sessions and come to training with a smile on their faces which is important.”
Susak’s football philosophy is simple but requires hard work from his players.
“I like a high tempo possession based game.”
With football taking him across the world, from Serbia to Germany, China, Iran and the UAE, Susak has taken a lot from various world-class coaches.
Some of these coaches include Zlatko Kranjcar, Hector Cuper and current Bundesliga team RB Leipzig’s head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl.
“I’ve taken bits and pieces from all the coaches I’ve had and there have been some big names.”
But one that has left a specific mark on Susak’s career is former Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou, who led the defender and the Brisbane Roar to two Hyundai A-League championships.
“Along with his philosophy, Ange’s communication and man-management of players is an important characteristic of his and something I will look to emulate in my coaching.”
The new White Eagles assistant is patient when it comes to his coaching career but knows what he wants to do and where he wants to be.
“I want to go as high and far as I can but right now I’m happy to be an assistant and work my way up, along with learning from Bomber.”
-By Nikola Pozder