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Coffee to part ways with reappointed coach Popadic

Coffee to part ways with reappointed coach Popadic

Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) outfit Ethiopia Coffee is to part ways with reappointed Serbian coach Drargon Popadic, and the club is scouting for a replacement.

According to sources, club board directors are busy trying to find a new coach to replace the Serbain coach, who is being treated at the hospital. After Ethiopia Coffee announced the appointment of Coach Popadic May 2017, he only made pre-season preparations.

Ethiopia Coffee is participating in the Addis Ababa City Cup managed by assistant coach Gezahegn Ketema. In the 2016/17 EPL season, the Addis Ababa outfit was not in top form in the first-round fixtures. Club fans are unhappy with inconsistent performance over the past couple of years. Though the club has a large fan base, Ethiopia Coffee could only be crowned once after they won the 2010/11 season title.

For the moment, Kosta Papic, a Serbian coach who managed a number of African clubs, will replace his compatriot. Papic, 57, has been with various African clubs from 2004 to 2015, managing clubs in South Africa, Ghana and Tunisia.  As of May 2016, he is with South-African side Polokwane City. Ethiopia Coffee has been complaining about the coaching style of locally recruited coaches. It was the first time when they hired a foreign coach (Popadic) during the 2015/16 EPL season.

In the 2016/17 EPL season, Coffee appointed Serbia-based Nebosja Vucivevic as new coach. Nevertheless, Vucivevic was fired after eight matches for poor performance. Gezahegn Ketema succeeded him for the remaining eight matches. 

Before reappointing Popadic in the last season, Coffee drew 1-1 against relegated side Addis Ababa City and the fans were holding banners calling for the appointment of former Ethiopia Coffee player Kassaye Arage as a new coach. That season Coffee finished fifth with 48 points managed by Gezahagn Ketama and his assistant Edilu Dereje.

The 2017/18 EPL season will start October 27, and a new Coffee coach will be announced the coming weeks.