Edin in the right direction

First-team coach Edin Terzic on his relationship with Slaven Bilic and plans to help West Ham United improve on a daily basis

West Ham United’s new first-team coach Edin Terzic cannot hide his excitement as he prepares to start work in the Barclays Premier League.

The 32-year-old arrives in England’s top-flight after cutting his teeth with German giants Borussia Dortmund, where he served as a scout and coach to the hugely successful Jurgen Klopp, before spending the past two and a half years working under Slaven Bilic.

After stints with the Croatian national team and Turkish club Besiktas, the UEFA ‘A’ Licence holder has followed Bilic to West Ham to begin a project he hopes will bring great success to the east London club.

“We need to honour this great stadium by having a great season,” Terzic told West Ham TV, alluding to the final season at the Boleyn Ground. “We want to improve with every game and, as a coach, I want us to improve with every session.

“We would like to leave the club in a better condition than when we found it. That’s hard, but this is what we are here for.”

So, just who is Edin Terzic and how did he become a member of Slaven Bilic’s technical staff?

“I was born and grew up in Germany but my mother is Croatian and my father is from Bosnia, so I speak Croatian and I met Slaven a couple of years ago and I started doing some analysis work for him with the national team,” he explained.

“At the time I was working as a youth coach with the Academy of Borussia Dortmund and was also one of the scouts for Jurgen Klopp and his team and I was looking at players.

“For the last two years I have worked with Slaven in Besiktas and for the last two-and-a-half years overall.”

We would like to leave the club in a better condition than when we found it. That’s hard, but this is what we are here for
As a youngster, Terzic himself harboured hopes of becoming a professional footballer himself, playing for German lower-league clubs SG Wattenscheid, SC Westfalia Herne and BV Cloppenburg before hanging up his boots in 2012.

When he realised he would not make it to the Bundesliga as a player, Terzic decided to try to do so as a coach and scout.

“I was very young as a coach, so I started doing my coaching licences and studied sports science in Germany and paid my bills and university by playing semi-professional football,” he continued.

“I studied for my UEFA ‘A’ Licence and met the chief scout of Borussia Dortmund and a couple of months later he called me and offered me a job. In 2010, I stopped playing and started to be a coach with Borussia Dortmund.”

During his time with Dortmund, Terzic was sent on a scouting mission to Croatia, where he was hosted by an agent.
“It was a totally strange story,” he smiled. “I had been in Croatia on a scouting job to watch a player and usually the scouts are picked up and given a lift to the ground.

“On this occasion the agent was very kind and we had a great dinner, but then he said ‘You must meet my brother’. I was polite and said I would, but I didn’t know who his brother was!

“He said he was called Domagoj Bilic and his brother was Slaven Bilic! I didn’t think about it until I was at a game in Sweden and three days before the European Championship in 2012 I got a phone call. I didn’t respond, then I got another phone call and didn’t respond. Then I got a message ‘Please call me back. Regards, Slaven Bilic’ so I thought I better call back!

“I called back and that’s the story of how we met each other in 2012!”

Having joined forces with Bilic, the duo have evolved a style of play that has seen them enjoy great success in recent years. So, what is the philosophy of West Ham’s new managerial team?

“I don’t want to talk about philosophy but to show it,” said Terzic, with a determination that clearly drives him. “It’s about acting and not reacting. Acting doesn’t mean we want to have 85 per cent ball possession, but we want to have the right solution at the right moment. This is the main part of it.

“I think we have a great relationship. It’s totally open, so are spending a lot of time together and we see each other more than we see our families. We are talking about everything on and off the pitch and we definitely understand each other and are on the same wavelength.”

With Terzic and Bilic in the dugout, West Ham United are Edin in the right direction…