Serbian coach Risto Vidakovic failed to come to terms with the management of United City FC on Wednesday, which meant that the club formerly known as Ceres-Negros FC won’t have the architect of its incredible Philippines Football League (PFL) run this season.

Vidakovic announced his decision not to join United City on his social media account on Wednesday, leaving a huge void on a team that inherited key Ceres players, who are three-time PFL champions and reigning Copa Paulino Alcantara winners.

The club will still continue its coaching search, although captain Stephan Schrock was already added to the coaching staff in preparation for the PFL title defense as well as the resumption of the AFC Cup next month.

The club also completed the signing of former national Under-23 goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus on loan from the Azkals Development Team. University of the Philippines captain Miggy Clarino, former Davao Aguilas and Meralco Manila player Jorrel Aristorenas, reigning UAAP Juniors MVP Pocholo Bugas and former Ateneo player Jordan Jarvis were also added to the lineup early this week. Several United City players paid tribute to Vidakovic for his impact in their careers.

“I’ve learned so much from him as a player and as a person,” said OJ Porteria, who played under Vidakovic from 2017 until this season.

AFC Cup all-time leading scorer Bienvenido Marañon Also lauded Vidakovic.

“He’s one of the main reasons why Ceres became the best Asean team,” the Spanish striker said. “He brought to the club professionalism, hard work and dedication. He taught us how to fight to achieve the best results for Philippine football.”


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Ceres coach Vidakovic a no-go for United City