Zef Kabashi (second to the left), with Matko Novak, will help run NK Rudar Velenje this season. (Photo courtesy of Zef Kabashi)

Veteran soccer coach Zef Kabashi has a new challenge – across the Atlantic Ocean.

He has been named an assistant coach with NK Rudar Velenje in Slovenia for the 2021-22 season. He will serve under Matko Novak, who had coached for him with the PDB Soccer Academy three years ago. Novak played with NY Irish Rovers while he was in New York.

Joining Kabashi on the club will be Brian Saramago from New Hyde Park, N.Y. Saramago, 22, has been through the Red Bulls system and has performed for the Long Island Rough Riders.

Kabashi, probably best known in the metro soccer season as head coach of the Irish Rovers in the Long Island Soccer Football League and as Academy Director of the PDB Soccer Academy in Westbury, N.Y.

He also has coached at Baruch College and Queensborough Community College (2009-2017), the latter with a record of 45-26-4. He won three City University of New York Athletic Conference regular season titles (2011, 2013 and 2016) and four CUNYAC Championships (2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015) at Queensborough. He was named CUNYAC coach of the year in 2011 and 2016 and was also honored with the N.J.C.A.A. Region XV Sportsmanship Award for a second time.

Kabashi also has worked with the Olympic Development Program coaching the U16 & U17 Boys age groups.

With a Master’s of Science in Sport Psychology, Kabashi has earned a USSF ‘A’ National Coaching License, a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and a NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma.

At the collegiate level, he played for Nassau Community College and later Molloy College. For Nassau, he was a regional finalist and captained the NJCAA All-Star Team. His success continued at Molloy College, where he also captained the squad and earned his degree in Business Management.