The Slovenian Ante Simundza is Ludogorets’ new coach. The Maribor-born specialist is 50 years old and has proven himself as part of Maribor and Mura. The coach is very successful in the Slovenian championship, which is why he was invited to lead Ludogorets.
Ante Simundza will bring his team to Bulgaria. The Slovenian Damian Oslaj will be his assistant, and the Croatian Luka Basic will be in charge of conditional training. The three of them will be introduced to the media on January 9th at Rosslyn Dimyat Hotel in Varna. Simundza’s unofficial debut as Ludogorets’ coach will happen during the camp in Turkey.
Ante Simundza’s career began as a Maribor striker. He later went through clubs such as Brumel in Japan, La Louvière in Belgium, Young Boys in Switzerland, and Malmo in Sweden. He has played for both the youth and the national teams of Slovenia.
In 2008, Simundza was appointed as assistant coach in Maribor. He remained there for three years. He later became the head coach of the Austrian club GAK, Aluminium Arak F.C., and Mura 05. In 2013, he took over Maribor and guided the team in the Europa League group phase, where he qualified for the 1/16 finals against Rubin Kazan, Zulte Vargem, and Wigan Athletic. In the elimination phase, the team dropped after an even 2:2 match and a 1:2 loss to Seville. Still, Simundza made Maribor champion and later qualified the team for the group phase of the Champions League after defeating Zrinski (Mostar), Maccabi (Tel Aviv), and Celtic. In the group phase, the team led by the Slovenian specialist took 3 points from teams such as Chelsea, Schalke 04 and Sporting (Lisbon).
During the 2014/2015 season, Ante Simundza became champion with Maribor for the second time, after which he joined Mura in 2017. He won the Slovenian Cup in 2020, and he won the championship the following season. Ludogorets defeated Mura in the second preliminary round of the Champions League in 2021. The Slovenian team later qualified for the group phase of the Conference League, where the team defeated 2:1 Tottenham.