Doesn’t miss Swiss league: Wanderers star Dario Vidosic. Photo: Mark KolbeThe grass isn’t always greener for footballers aspiring for Europe, just ask Dario Vidosic.
Misdiagnosed injuries, late payments, undelivered win bonuses and a short-tempered interventionist owner who made seven coaching changes in two years made his Swiss foray seem like torture. Despite making 51 appearances over two seasons with FC Sion and establishing himself as an entertaining player in the league, Vidosic has no plans to return to Europe. At 28, he plans to remain in Australia where for all the gulf in stature, players are afforded much greater working conditions than other more established leagues.
After an impressive six months at FC Sion, the problems began to surface. The fractures began with their outspoken and volatile president Christian Constantin who was twice so furious with performances of coaches that he took charge of the coaching duties and officiated games from the dugout.
“We had this one guy who does what he wants. There were times he delayed payments, win bonuses were promised and he wouldn’t pay. It was a circus. You leave your family, you leave your friends, you want professionalism and good coaching. I can’t even describe how we were treated at times,” Vidosic said. “He was probably the most crazy [football] president in Europe, I’d say.”
It continued with the club’s coaches ignoring medical advice, diminishing a ruptured posterior ligament in his knee as a simple knock. A month-long stint on the sidelines extended to 14 weeks due to their refusal to allow proper medical treatment.
Amid the pressure of a president happy to sack coaches, it wasn’t long before players became scapegoats for poor results. Vidosic was publicly said to have given up on the club and lost interest when absent from a game despite being hospitalised with a serious virus.
“I was sent to hospital, had a bad rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, had a bad virus. My face was swollen and turned purple and even my teammates feared for me a little bit,” Vidosic said. “I was sick for two weeks in hospital and then the coach comes out and says I was saving myself for the World Cup.”
Despite having other options to remain in Europe, the experience at FC Sion prompted Vidosic to return to Australia. He says the standard of the A-League is not far off that of the Swiss league with the fewer number of games the only major detraction. However, the standard of player welfare offered in the A-League is significantly greater than he experienced at Sion.
“The A-League provides a level of professionalism that sometimes Europe doesn’t. When you’re young you just think of going to Europe. There’s a lot of leagues there, a lot of good football and a lot of good coaches. You want these things but you don’t always get that,” he said.
Vidosic missed the Wanderers’ 3-2 defeat to Brisbane Roar last weekend due to a hamstring injury the previous week against Perth Glory but is confident of returning to play Newcastle on Sunday having returned to full training on Wednesday.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.