Slaven Bilic happy with his West Brom coaching team
Head Coach Slaven Bilic has outlined why he added Dean Racunica and Danilo Butorovic to his coaching staff.
The duo, who like Bilic are Croatian, were both named as Albion’s assistant head coaches in June.
Racunica, 49, has been a manager in his own right on two occasions, but has spent most of his career as an assistant.
Butorovic, meanwhile, has been described by as ‘one of the up-and-coming coaching talents of Croatian football’.
“Dean played with me – we’ve known each other since we were 19 or 20,” Bilic said. “He also played for the national team, he was a proper number 10.
“I was his best man at his wedding. We are friends and all that, but he’s here for football - not only for me.
“It’s a big bonus, of course, but he loves football. The players like him.”
On Butorovic, Bilic said: “Danilo is younger, I got to know him when I was at West Ham.
“I got to know him because he was the best student of that generation from the Croatian FA academy.
“They’re very tough, strict. He did the badges and he asked me if he could watch training. I said ‘OK, no problem.’
“He stayed for one week and – even then – he stayed after training to talk football and he had good ideas.
“He was very hungry, so I made a few phone calls to people I knew in Croatia.
“They said the best things about him.
“When I had the opportunity to make a new-ish staff, I asked him and he wanted to come.
“Both Dean and Danilo are very good.”
While Bilic brought in Racunica and Butorovic, he also appointed Julian Dicks as first-team coach. But he inherited goalkeeping coach Gary Walsh and fitness coach Nick Davies.
“I have my people but it’s very important to have some local people that were here before me,” Bilic continued.
“It’s about the balance and they’ve all fitted in. I didn’t know Nick Davies personally, but I knew that he was previously at West Ham.
“I spoke to a few people there and they told me top things.
“I’m really impressed with him. He’s a top man. Gary Walsh, too. They’re all good football people.”