For the first time in 16 years, we are witnessing something that has long been forgotten as a practice. Namely – the national selector, in parallel with this position, should also work as a coach in a club team. This happened after Ilian Iliev was officially announced as the coach of Bulgaria and remained in the same position in the Black Sea.
The last time we saw such a thing was in 2007. After the draw with Albania in the European qualification of “Vasil Levski”, the team was taken over by Stanimir Stoilov. Murray became a coach only for the next two matches with Belarus – in Minsk we won 2:0, and in the return match in Sofia the success was minimal – 2:1.
The case of Murray is also the only one in the 21st century in which a coach in Bulgaria combined both functions. The last one for the 20th century was Hristo Bonev, who in the 1997/98 season led both the state team and Lokomotiv Sofia.
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Historically, the man who has done the best is Rudolph Vitlachil. The Czech specialist made Levski champion in 1965, and at the same time qualified Bulgaria at the world championship in England in 1966.
It is interesting that in the years in which we have an elite division (1937-1940, as well as since 1948), the first specialist who led our club team and the national team at the same time was a foreigner. It is about the Austrian Franz Köhler. In 1940, he took charge of Bulgaria, and a year earlier he led Slavia to the title in the national football division. After that, with him, the “Whites” became champions in 1941 and 1943, when the championship was held in the form of a tournament with eliminations.
Outside the clubs in Sofia, national selectors were coaches of Marek and Botev Pd. In several matches at the beginning of the 1960s, the “lions” were led by the coach of the “canaries” Georgi Genov. Shortly after they became champions in 1967, their coach – Levski legend Vasil Spasov-Valjaka – led our Olympic team in one match against Poland, which we won 3:2. At the end of the 70s, Marek’s legendary mentor – Yanko Dinkov – had the honor of being a national selector – sometimes alone, sometimes in the modern for that time, duets, trios or even quartets