Slavo Rafailovic

I grew up in a small town called Salas in east Serbia. The first team that I played for was Deli Jovan – my hometown club. I joined the club when I was 10 years old and played for a couple of years. Zorna Stoijlkovic and Goran Mihajlovic were fantastic coaches and are the inspiration behind my love for the game of soccer. I moved to a bigger club – Fk Timok, as I was playing up  with older boys of 2-3 years.  I played there for couple more years before I moved to the city rival FK Kablovi where I played until I finished with youth academy soccer. I played two more years with First team of FK Kablovi before I decided to commit to coaching.

After a few years I was helping coaching adult soccer until one day, a friend of mine asked me to help him coaching at his youth soccer school Obilic.  After just a few sessions and seeing the progress in players, I realized how big of an impact I had on young players. I knew at this point that I was destined to coach youth soccer and I spent the next few years educating myself in so that I could help and guide those youngsters.

During that time I was invited to coach in the USA  at a club in the suburb of Vernon Hills. As my English was not the best at the time I decided to connect with a local club in the neighborhood, Lakefront Attack –  to volunteer for a few months and improve my language.

The Director of Coaching at the time Nick Mulvaney let me work beside him and the rest is history…..

It was amazing to that we shared the same passion and philosophy for the game and after my time volunteering he offered me a position to stay in the club. I became the head coach of two girls teams and at the beginning of the following season I was became a full time coach.

Fast forward 7 years later – I have my USSF A license and also hold the position of Technical Director in the club. I still coach four teams – which is still my first love and my passion.