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In 2012, Croatia hosted the UEFA Futsal EURO (European Championships). That same year, Futsal Dinamo was created. Since then, coaches and players have laid the foundation for a club whose fans and members own and run operations. To talk about this interesting model, we sat down with Joraj Cosic, director of Futsal Dinamo. In a candid interview, we talked about the players he’s bringing to World Futsal Cup VI, his dream for the club and how he’s preparing his players for what will be their biggest tournament yet.
USA Futsal: What should our readers know about you?

Cosic: Futsal Dinamo was founded in 2012. It competed with limited success in Croatian second futsal division, but in spring of 2014, the club took-off properly when Bad Blue Boys, the Zagreb-based supporter group of NK Dinamo, got involved in the club. Since then we secured a comfortable promotion to the top tier and have been competing for the title.

USA Futsal: How are you different from other futsal clubs?

Cosic: We are a fan-owned club that functions on ‘one member – one vote’ principle. Every member of the club is its owner and has a possibility to vote and steer the club in the direction in which majority of fans wants to see the club moving. Since the Bad Blue Boys were repressed out from our stadium, the idea was to gather all Dinamo fans around our futsal club so that the tradition of supporting Dinamo survives through our futsal club.

USA Futsal: That’s an interesting model. Why choose to be a fan-governed club?

Cosic: Our mission is to represent our name and colours wherever we play and to promote fan-owned governance as an ideal and long-term success model of sports club governance. We believe that club is above all individuals when it is run by its fans/members and that no individual can hold exclusive rights on Dinamo because fans are the club.

USA Futsal: Croatia made its debut in the World Cup in ’94, how has the futsal landscape in the country helped to define the club and its goals?

Cosic: Compared to some other countries it is safe to say that futsal is very competitive in Croatia. There are many very talented players that emerge every year and it is very interesting to follow the development of these young players. Professional futsal is still in its infancy since not all clubs can afford all the expenses of professionalism. However, we have put ourselves in the mix and through innovations and high level of competitiveness, we strive to move everybody towards more a professional approach. Luckily, others will follow and we will be able to better position Croatia on a European and World futsal map. Talent is here, we just have to utilize it.

USA Futsal: I imagine you have very regimented training sessions, what is your secret to preparing for World Futsal Cup VI this December?

Cosic: We have a serious approach to this Cup. We will hold a number of intra-squad tournaments to get the best possible selection of young players to represent our club in Barcelona. Our expectations are that the tournament will be a competitive one with many different playing styles from around the world. We are excited to be part of it and really looking forward to the start of the tournament.

USA Futsal: From what we’ve seen, your players are in a good spot for the tournament; have you trained with international teams?

Cosic: Yes, we played in one tournament in Croatia, with teams from five different countries. It was a great experience for players and staff, but the World Futsal Cup VI is totally different story. Our Club will have our own international tournament for U17 and U19 category in December. Its great way to make a new friendship and partners.

USA Futsal: What do you hope your players get out of this experience?

Cosic: Since this is our first appearance on such tournament, we will strive to take as many positives as possible, but letting these young players enjoy themselves, play futsal and gather experience for their future career is the most important thing that we expect to get from this tournament. There is no doubt that our young players will come out as better players and people after this tournament is finished.

USA Futsal: No doubt. They will meet many teams and get exposure to different styles of play from the best youth teams. But tell me, as a coach, what will be (or what has been) your club’s greatest achievement?

Cosic:  Some of our most notable achievements are a dominant promotion to the top tier a few years back and our participation in every season playoffs since then. I think the best is yet to come and I am confident that we are on a correct path. We are getting closer to the title every year and clinching that one will be our best achievement so far. It is what we owe to our fantastic fans and ourselves. I would also highlight our open approach to the fans and our members. We want all our fans and members to feel as a part of the community and Dinamo family. I think that our strong foundations are our best achievement.

USA Futsal: You mentioned you’re selecting the best players from your club for the tournament, anything you can tell our readers about them?

Cosic: I can only promise you that they will represent our trademark attacking style of play and that they will give their best to promote our club in best possible fashion on this big international scene.