Photo: IMAGO

Croatia have named Velimir Perasovic as the new men’s national team head coach on a deal that lasts up to Eurobasket 2015 with an option of continuing it further.

The 50-year-old was the sole candidate for the job and takes over from Jasmin Respesa, who stepped down from his post earlier in the year.

Perasovic joins Croatia having parted company from Valencia in January with a list of notable achievements such as a Eurocup title and a all-time club best record of 30-4 in the Liga Endesa.

“I think everybody agrees that we begin a new era with a new coach who has deservedly achieved great things, although he has never coached the national team before, and I think that from this day on our results will be even better,” HKS President Danko Radic said at the presentation of Perasovic in Zagreb.

“First of all, I would like to say that I am extremely proud and happy that I was chosen as coach of the Croatian national basketball team,” Perasovic said. “I think it’s something that every Croat wants and every Croat sees this as a great honour, and so do I.

“There was never any doubt, from the first day Mr Radic contacted me to ask if I had the desire to become Croatia coach. The only issue was whether I would be able to do it, because of the situation in Spain with Valencia.

“My wish for Croatia is to achieve a good result at Eurobasket and I have great ambitions and desires for this team. We can’t promise right now anything except a lot of hard work and great effort.”

In his 18-years as a player, Perasovic spent the majority of his time in Spain before taking up a coaching role in 2003 with KK Split. He has gone on to coach in Spain and Turkey.

Croatia will host Group C of Eurobasket in Zagreb and will go up against F.Y.R of Macedonia, Slovenia, Greece, Georgia and Netherlands.