Today I received the sad news of Ljupco’s sudden and premature death. It came like a bolt from the blue, and with Ljubco’s death, the Open Fun Football School program has lost a great friend and a personality – one of the people who has always contributed positively to our community and our common program no matter where in the world we have been together.
You could always find Ljupco. He was always surrounded by several good friends. Whenever he sat down at a table friends always came to socialize with him, and there was always laughter and good mood. The same can be said from the pitch. Whenever Ljubco was instructing new coaches or children, there were always such a nice ambient around him and his teams. Ljupco and the fun concept could do something very special together.
I have always regarded Ljupco as one of fun football’s true godfathers and master minds. Ljupco really understood how to twist a good football practice to challenge both head – heart – legs. If there was a lack of creativity and new ideas at a seminar, one could always rely on Ljupco to turn it into a creative fun football session. And I also remember how Ljupco told the new coaches in Montenegro that they should always remember to integrate as much of their local culture into the football schools as possible. If you were good at dancing, you should make sure to integrate the dance into the program. If you were good at volleyball, you had to integrate volleyball into the games – in the same way, as Ljupco initiated to integrate gymnastics and coordination at the OFFS in Kavadarci.
Should I in a single word give a characteristic of Ljupco, then I will describe Ljupco as a thorough “good personality”. Thus, there was always a particularly positive and inclusive aura around Ljupco whether it was on or off the football field. And we were all always in good and safe company when we were with Ljupco.
Personally, I will also remember that early morning in Kavadarci where we went down the river where Ljupco taught me to catch fish with my bare hands. I did not catch any, but Ljupco got a half plastic bag of small fish J
However, it has always annoyed me that Ljupco only spoke Balkan and Russian – two languages I am not very good at. Yet we have always found a way to communicate with each other. But there was so much I would have liked to have talked to Ljupco about if we had had more common language than fun football and a limited number of words in Balkan and English.
Ljupco, you will always be remembered and missed. And I will always be deeply grateful to you for all the things I have learned from you and the many creative ideas you have generously passed on to me and our colleagues in more than 23 countries around the world.
I send my warmest thoughts to Natalia and your children and of course also to Ceno, Darko, Jagoda and all our mutual close friends in Open Fun Football Schools.
Honor be your memory
Open Fun Football Schools and Anders