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THE highest calibre coaching duo in Australia may well be situated in Victoria’s NPL coaching dugouts this season.

Adelaide United’s Marco Kurz is the only one to have coached in one of the world’s ‘big five’ leagues, but Aljosa Asanovic and Dean Racunica boast imposing collective CV’s headlined by lengthy spells in the Croatian national team set up.

Melbourne Knights’ stunning coaching coup owes much to its decorated past and while the NSL has been airbrushed by sections of Australian soccer, Asanovic and his assistant Racunica have not forgotten.

Certainly no other coach in Australia boasts a playing CV as decorated as Asanovic’s, having played in four of the ‘big five’ — Napoli (Italy), Derby County (England), Real Valladolid (Spain) and Metz, Cannes, Montpellier (France) — and winning 62 caps for Croatia including a stunning 1998 World Cup semi-final assist.

But after assistant coaching spells with Croatia and Russians Lokomotiv Moscow and a technical director’s job in Slovakia, he’s taken a step back for his first head coaching role.

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