Alex Milner is new head couch of FC SibirBack to list
Former Hibernian and Aberdeen (both UK) manager Alex Miller made history yesterday when it was confirmed that he will be the first Scottish coach of a Russian club. It's Novosibirsk based FC Sibir.
FC Sibir (ex Chkalovets-1936) plays at the Spartak Stadium. As a result of their first-ever season in the Russian Premier League in 2010, FC Sibir has been relegated to play the next season in Russian First Division. The main problem of the club is lack of funding - it was poorest club in Prenier League.
Sibir Director Stanislav Zhuravski admitted that it had to work hard to coax him into the cold, but insisted 62 year old Miller had been given a free hand to conjure a football revolution in Siberia.
"The negotiations lasted rather a long time. We had five managers to choose from but he was the best candidate. He is interesting for us not only as professional football coach but as an organiser of the club's structure."
Miller said yesterday to Scotsman.com he has never faced a greater challenge, as he stands tasked with lifting the team back into the Russian premier league. And to his surprise, the former Liverpool assistant manager found facilities in remote Novosibirsk to be better than some English Premier League clubs. “Early in January I came to Novosibirsk, met the mayor of the city, got acquainted with the clubs’ infrastructure and was quite impressed with it,” he said.
“They have an arena, very good training camp and even a stadium under a roof. Not all English Premier League clubs enjoy such nice conditions.”
Miller will have a job on his hands just to conquer the language barrier. Sibir’s players are mostly Russians, with several Czechs and one notable Macedonia player – the captain Veličce Šumulikoski. It is said that Denis Laktionov, aged 34, one of the mmost famous Novosibirsk's sportsman will help Miller to study Russiam.
One of Miller’s first jobs will be to sort out the future of Šumulikoski, who was involved in an incident with police while back in his homeland last week. The midfielder was in trouble last week when he allegedly attacked a man while drunk in hometown Struga, then verbally abused police officers and refused to take a breath test.