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Henan Jianye name Dragan Talajic as new head coach

Dragan Talajic becomes Henan Jianye's fourth coach in 2017.

AFC Champions League-winning coach Dragan Talajic has been appointed as the new boss of Chinese Super League side Henan Jianye, the club announced on Monday.

Talajic is the fourth coach to take control of the club in 2017 after Jia Xiuquan, Bulgaria's Yasen Petrov and Guo Guangqi all worked with Henan during the recently completed season.

Henan finished in 14th place in the Chinese Super League, with Guo doing just enough to ensure the club avoided relegation after he was appointed at the end of September.

"After thorough research by the Henan Jianye Football Club's scouting team, the board of the club has made the decision to appoint Dragan Talajic as head coach of the club for the new season," Henan said in a statement.

"We hope Mr. Talajic can settle into Chinese football quickly and manage the team in a strict manner and bring an advanced football strategy to the club. We hope he can lead the team in the forthcoming CSL and Chinese FA Cup to a higher level."

Talajic has extensive experience of working in Asia, having played as a goalkeeper in Singapore with Tanjong Pagar United before coaching in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Thailand and Jordan.

He won the AFC Champions League title in 2004 with Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad after replacing Tomislav Ivic at the helm of the team when the veteran coach was fired as a result of a 3-1 loss in the first leg against South Korea's Seongnam Ilhwa.

Talajic masterminded a remarkable 5-0 victory in the second leg to give Al Ittihad a 6-3 aggregate win as the club claimed the first of their two continental club titles to date.

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch


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