STOKE CITY’S 2012/13 Player of the Year Asmir Begovic has spoken of his excitement at the prospect of working under newly appointed boss Mark Hughes.
The Potters confirmed the arrival of the former Wales manager on a three-year-contract last month, just nine days after announcing the departure of Tony Pulis who had enjoyed a successful seven-year tenure in charge of the Club.
Begovic acknowledged that he was surprised to see Pulis depart the Britannia Stadium, but has no doubts that Hughes is the right man to take over the reins from his Welsh compatriot and elevate the Club into the Premier League’s top ten.
“I was surprised to see Tony go, because to be honest I really didn’t expect it,” the Bosnian international told Stoke City Player earlier this week.
“But by bringing in Mark Hughes we have a manager here with a big name, and somebody who has proven to be incredibly successful during spells in charge of clubs who were at a similar level to ourselves.
“He has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world and has managed a lot of games in the top-flight, and been successful as a manager on the international stage too, so that will all stand him in good stead for the job he has here.”
He added: “Personally I am looking forward to sitting down with him hearing his plans for the future and seeing if we can move forward and become a Club who is consistently challenging for a top half finish.”
The stopper, who enjoyed a superb campaign at both domestic and international level, says he is looking forward to a well-earned break having only ended his season at the weekend following Bosnia’s emphatic World Cup Qualifying victory against Latvia.
“It’s been a long season, but a good season for me,” he said. “Picking up the awards at the End of Season dinner was incredible, and being able to top that off with the Bosnian Player of the Year has been fantastic.
“We picked up three more points against Latvia a few days ago, and we are in a great position now in terms of qualifying for the World Cup.
“We still have a lot of hard work to do to make that dream a reality, but if we are able to do it then it would be a great achievement.
“For now though I am going to enjoy a break, go away for a couple of weeks with the family and recharge the batteries, ready to come back again in pre-season and get ready for the start of the new season.”
The 25-year-old was speaking at his daughter Taylor’s school, Edenhurst Preparatory, on Tuesday afternoon, for whom he was on hand to officially open their impressive new £40,000 Early Years Unit.
“It’s great to be here,” he smiled. “My daughter has been coming here for a year now and she absolutely loves it.
“We live just down the road too, so to be able to come here in our community and open the new building is a real honour.
“It’s a great school and I try to come along and get involved with things whenever I can. I just like coming here though and being one of the dads to be honest.
“Taylor has lots of friends here, and she gets invited to parties and things like that which is great. It’s nice to come here and get away from football from time to time.”