Mico Martic has taken over as Head Coach of the Finnish futsal national team, signing a contract until the end of September 2013. The contract has an automatic option for the EURO European Championship 2014, should Finland qualify. Martic follows Jouni Pihlaja, who was in charge from 2005 until the end of 2012.
"After Jouni Pihlaja announced his resignition last fall, we started to look for an internationally esteemed option. We strongly believe that we have now found a suitable person to fulfil our needs to develop our futsal to the next level," says FAF President Pertti Alaja.
As a player, Mico Martic played futsal across three decades, representing Yugoslavia and later Croatia in the Futsal EURO Championships and the FIFA Futsal World Cup. The former national team captain was capped 44 times, and he scored 32 goals for his native country between 1994 and 2001.
Martic has also coached the Croatian national team, as well as club sides in Italy and Croatia. Besides his work in Finland, Martic will continue to coach MNK Alumnus in Zagreb.
"I am very happy for this chance to develop Finnish futsal, which has a long history. My main task is to develop the game at the grassroots level, so that the national team will have solid base for future success", Martic said.
"The national team has a good basis for development even now. The players are quick and aggressive. All these qualities are needed in modern futsal. If Spain can develop their game ever further, I don’t see why Finland could not do the same."
For a spot in Belgium 2014, Finland will compete with Italy, Hungary and the winner of Group A in the preliminary qualification round.