Vladan Kovačević: At the Academy we are not only learning about football, but also about life
21.10.2018 at 16:30h
Vladan Kovačević arrived at the Sarajevo FC’s Academy four years ago. With juniors, Sarajevo FC was the winner of the Cup of Bosnia and Herzegovina on two occasions. He debuted for the first team in the first match against Sloboda on Tušanj, and now he is one of the standard first team players. For the club's website, Vladan answered a few questions.
Are you satisfied with the success achieved so far and the fact that you are standard first team player?
Being first team player at the Sarajevo FC and playing in front of the Koševo audience is my dream since youth days. I am very happy to have accomplished it by 20 years old, and what makes me more fortunate is the fact that on the way to achieving this goal, especially during the period I spent at the Academy, I met many good guys with whom I remained a friend and after they left Sarajevo. The Academy is something special.
Who had the greatest impact on you during your professional development?
The load of all my difficulties along with me stood by my coach from Banja Luka, Siniša Mrkobrad. His support was crucial in the years behind me. In addition, I have to mention my parents and girlfriend, who are always there with me and realize that sometimes there are simply days when, as much as you try, it just does not go. I find myself lucky to have these people in my life.
What do you consider most important to achieve good results?
I find that nothing can replace the persistence and continuous work, or talent, or power, or even intelligence. I am trying to be the best version of myself, both on the ground and outside. I only allow myself a comparison of what I was in the previous period and what I am now. Discipline is necessary, but honesty, work and perseverance have led me to everything I have achieved so far.
Can you tell us an anecdote?
Being an "Academy player" is not just a football thing. It teaches you everything - from how to behave, what is good, what is not, and then trainings come to the fore. My group, one morning, went from the Academy's house to the Butmir Training Center where we should have a training session. We pulled out the equipment, got ready for training so that the coach Dzenan Uščiplić would have been dressed in such a way, returned us back to the Academy house because we did not remember whom exactly, did not set a bed. Running in prams on asphalt is not exactly the simplest thing, and I believe it was quite a funny sight to other passers-by. The very fact that due to the failure of one member, we all paid, helped us build a sense of community. It is crucial to keep in mind the fact that football is a team sport.
What do you think is most important for the good results that Sarajevo FC has achieved - six bound victories, not counting the Cup?
The atmosphere in the dressing room is positive; we are all determined, motivated and hungry. Great support comes from our fans who are here regardless of whether we play in Krupa or in Grbavica, whether rain, snow or sun. We are really like a family. The players have been here for some time together; we know each other and spend a lot of time together. I think it has a big impact on our game. We are aware of the results so far and of our possibilities, and we have all the conditions to achieve our goals.
Do you think the coming winter will affect the playing fields in B&H, and therefore the game of Sarajevo FC?
It is unavoidable that weather conditions, unfortunately, drastically affect the conditions for the game. What is important always to keep in mind is that if the terrain is bad, it is bad for us, but also for the opposing team. I am sure if we continue to give our maximum as before, the result will not be missed.
What do you think you need to improve in terms of the game?
I am trying to improve my game with my legs. Today, being a goalkeeper does not mean just defending, but we are constantly involved in the game by passing the ball. The focus is on me now. I am aware of the security and experience that I acquire as the championship leaves. Honestly, I enjoy the process because I see the results.
What qualities of a person must have to be a successful athlete?
Being an athlete is not an interest, but a way of life. Everyone can do one training a day, but to achieve the goal I have, and my teammates, that is not enough. It is important to always have in mind the ultimate goal and be focused on it. This way of life requires a lot of renunciation, and that is why you just have to love what you do. Love is what helps you not to give up.
Which game was your most challenging so far?
Surely it was a match against Željezničar, and at the same time my first derby, which came soon after the debut at Tušanj. The thing with a derby is alittle bit different, meaning that a better team does not win, but the one who wants to win at that moment. I must say that even now, when I recall, I am sorry we did not win.
Do you think that you were once underestimated by the opposing team for years?
Although some teams are trying to exploit my inexperience in senior football, I cannot say that I have ever been underestimated. The quality of your game dictates how it will be understood by both your opponents and your teammates. I must say that I received quite a lot of support from the players of the opposing clubs after the games played.