Welcome to Hütteldorf and SK Rapid Vienna, Damir Canadi! The 46 year-old has signed a contract tying him to Hütteldorf until Summer 2018.
President Michael Krammer, CEO Christoph Peschek, and Director of Sport Management Stefan Ebner reached their joint decision on the appointment early on Friday morning.
Born on May 6, 1970, Damir Canadi took his first steps into coaching at the young age of 31 after making 19 top flight appearances as a player, 18 of which were for Admira Mödling under three different trainers (!) (Ladislav Kuna, Kurt Jara, and Walter Stöffelbauer) between September 1994 and June 1995. After starting as Player/Manager at non-league SC Leopoldsdorf, Canadi tasted success when he guided DSV Fortuna to the Vienna City League Championship in 2002/2003, thereby earning the club a spot in the Regional League East. He repeated this success 8 years later with Simmeringer SC, whilst in between he was twice runner up in the Regional League East with PSV/FAC Team für Wien. In the 2008/09 season Canadi landed himself the Assistant Manager's job at top Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow, before returning to Vienna to once again take charge at both FAC and Simmering. In 2011 Canadi swapped the capital for the countryside of Vorarlberg. He firstly took over the FC Lustenau hot seat before making the short move in 2011 to take the reins at SC Rheindorf Altach.
In the 2013/14 season he guided Altach to the Sky Go First Division league title, and in the following season created a sensation with his little fancied side in the top division. With Altach he gained 59 points in his debut season in the Bundesliga, finishing in 3rd place above the likes of Sturm Graz and a whole 16 points ahead of Austria Vienna. This staggering performance secured international football for the first time in Altach’s history, and despite not being able to play games at home due to their stadium falling foul of UEFA requirements, Altach shocked many with their exceptional showing in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. Canadi was drawn twice against Portuguese opposition, passing the first hurdle in the shape of Vitoria Guimares, winning 2:1 at home and recording a spectacular 4:1 away win in Portugal. In the Play Off Canadi came up just short against Belenenses of Lisbon, going down to a one goal defeat (0:0, 0:1). In the current season Altach continue to shock, sitting joint top of the Bundesliga, level on points with Sturm Graz. Against Rapid Canadi’s side remain unbeaten after taking four points from two games and have also recorded a famous 5:1 home victory over Austria Vienna.
In his first official statement Damir Canadi explained: "Firstly I want to thank SCR Altach for the successful work we did together and wish the club all the best for the future. It was a great time, but nonetheless I want to take on the challenge at SK Rapid without question and am convinced that with the fantastic infrastructure here we will celebrate successes together."
President Michael Krammer added: "In Damir Canadi we’ve secured our first choice candidate. He’s proved over and over again that he is a trainer with exceptional qualities who has the ability to grow with new challenges. I’m excited about working together and want to express my gratitude to Karlheinz Kopf, my colleague at SCR Altach, for the Cordial manner of the negotiations."
Welcome to Hütteldorf and SK Rapid Vienna, Damir Canadi!