|Jasmin Repeša with Croatian Federation Secretary General Željko Drakšić during his presentation to the press on Friday (Photo: Tonci Vrandecic/Kosarka.org)|
Jasmin Repesa is relishing the chance to lead Croatia's national team again.
The veteran tactician guided Croatia at EuroBaskets 2007 and 2009, and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and 2008 Beijing Games.
Having watched Croatia fail to make an impact the past two summers, Repesa, who leads club side Cibona Zagreb, was eager for a return.
"It's a great honour to lead your own national team," he said on Friday, "and there's only one thing better than that - to guide it for the second time.
"I'm really proud that those who are responsible for Croatian basketball think that I'm the one who can help in building a good team that can continue taking part in big tournaments.
"Croatia must participate at both Olympics and World Championships, and while we know it won't be an easy task, we won't give up on those goals as we do have talent for it."
Repesa did a fine job in his first stint.
He replaced Neven Spahija after EuroBasket 2005 and steered the national team safely through a EuroBasket 2007 qualifying campaign.
Croatia went to the Final Round in Spain and finished sixth, and then played at the Olympic qualifiers the following year in Athens and claimed one of the three spots up for grabs for Beijing.
Each time, Croatia came in sixth place.
"Our Expert Council suggested Repesa, and we unanimously accepted him as he is the best available option," said the president of the Croatian Basketball Association (HKS), Danko Radic.
"He'll guide our national team until the end of the qualifications for EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia and then we'll see what our next move will be."
Croatia finished 13th at last year's EuroBasket in Lithuania, which was one reason while the HKS and coach Josip Vrankovic parted ways.
"At EuroBasket 2011, we didn't fulfill our goals, but we've faced some real personal issues with several of our crucial players so I'm sure that we still have potential to be in the top," said Repesa.
The HKS also announced the new coaches for their youth teams.
Niksa Bavcevic will guide the under-20 squad, Jaska Vulic is the new coach of the U18s, Ante Nazor will lead the U17 team and Hrvoje Vlasic will be in charge of U16 national team.