The game itself was not enough to make a living. Dusan graduated from college and started working while playing futsal with Đavo, then KMF Liman and KMF Vojvodina.
He also obtained his master’s degree and found his vocation as a professor of robotics, mechatronics and mechanical elements in the vocational schools of Novi Sad for mechanical engineering and, later, industrial engineering.
A new passion has developed: teaching children to build robots and having them compete with other high school / college students in Eurobot competitions.
Jakica has transformed her class into a team, akin to forwards, midfielders and defenders – or fixos, alas and pivos. He assigned children to the design, others to the electrical aspect, and another group to the mechanical aspect.
“It was a time in my life that I really enjoyed and miss a lot,” he said.
The principal of the new school was also a former gym teacher and knew of Dusan’s football background. He asked if Jakica could start the futsal programs for school and the former futsal pro quickly created a team just for the teachers and other teams with the kids.
For Dusan, the principles he applied in engineering also applied to teaching and training, especially on the futsal pitch.
“When I try to explain to players what to do, how to move, how to create space, it all comes from logical perspectives. You have to use logic when you play – it’s not a pure model, ”he said. “Every aspect is important – body orientation, perception – especially when you’re talking about space, coordination, dynamic movement.
“And you have to make decisions. This is very important for any kind of football. You have good players who can see two options in certain situations. And at the higher level, you have players in the same situation, who can see four options. “
Jakica’s teams won on and off the pitch. He revived his old club, Đavo, as KFM Tvrđava and at U-19 level started coaching the varsity team before becoming an assistant coach of the Serbian national futsal team.
But the landscape has changed again. Serbia and Montenegro became independent countries and the economic situation was difficult. The Jakicas were struggling. He knew there was only one option.
“I decided that we had to move anywhere in the world where my family could have a normal life,” he said.
His wife Isidora, a psychologist, has Hungarian roots. They tried unsuccessfully to acquire Hungarian nationality. He applied for jobs in Austria and the Netherlands and worked for a time for a Norwegian shipbuilding company.
In 2013, an uncle living in Florida suggested that Dusan look into the State Department’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. Each year, the United States randomly grants thousands of visas – with permanent residence in the United States – to applicants who meet certain education or work requirements from countries with historically low immigration rates to the United States. United. The program is free.
Jakica submitted her application in November 2013. On May 1, 2014, her brother typed the confirmation number on the State Department website with his family around the computer.
“My wife read it aloud: ‘You were randomly selected for the…’, he recalls, choked. “My brother started jumping and screaming. He explained to me that this meant that we were approved for a green card, that we could move to the United States and be entitled to work and live there.
The news spread throughout the neighborhood.
Dragona Jandrich, a former classmate of Isidora in elementary school and Dusan in college, was in town visiting from Minnesota. She offered her home near Minneapolis to the Jakicas for use while Dusan looked for work.
In December 2014, the Jakicas obtained their visas. Dusan, Isidora and their daughters Inis and Nadja arrived at Dragona’s in Edina, another suburb of Minneapolis, on April 8, 2015. Their belongings fit in four suitcases.
“I don’t know how to express my gratitude. Without Dragana, we wouldn’t be here talking today, ”he said.
Five weeks later, Phillips & Tembro offered Dusan a full-time job as a manufacturing engineer.
“It was as if someone had released all the accumulated tension and stress from my body at the same time. When I saw the offer… It was just tears. I knew that from then on our lives would change completely.