Lajos Detari – Seccond Fiddle
Detari, who as a player was used to finding every door wide open, had a whole new experience on 27 September 2007 when he found the door to Sopron’s stadium slammed shut, allegedly because he had offended the club’s new owner. His job at Sopron was over before it had even begun.
“I think I am easy to get along with. I don’t have any airs and graces, I just expect discipline, respect and hard work. I also expect my players to train in the same way as they play. My message is, ‘Just let me work and success will follow’. I know a lot about football, believe me,” he insists. Detari has not yet completed a full season at one club, however. Although he spent the second half of a season at Nyiregyhaza, he was only a consultant and not a coach. As he did not boast the necessary coaching licence, Detari had to pull the strings from behind the scenes and let Andras Szabo, another former Hungarian international, publicly act as the club’s coach.
Detari, a man accustomed to taking centre stage, also had to play second fiddle with Hungary. In early 2006, with Hungarian football in the depths of a crisis, the association turned to two of its favourite sons – Peter Bozsik and Detari. Whereas Bozsik – the son of the legendary Joszef Bozsik, the man who had led Hungary when they were at the peak of their powers – was invited to become head coach, Detari, the best player that the country has produced in the last 20 years, had to settle for a position as his assistant.
“I was right to accept that challenge, even though it wasn’t easy to begin with,” reflects Detari. “As a player and coach, I have always been in the spotlight. My position with Hungary was something new. I have great respect for Peter though and I was disappointed that we only worked together for such a short period of time.” Bozsik was dismissed after a defeat in Malta and Detari had to endure an agonising wait to discover his fate before he too was asked to clear his desk. “It would have been a dream come true to be asked to become head coach,” admits Detari. “Coaching your home country is the ultimate for any coach, and I hope that one day I will have that honour.”