Young hopes – Jan Jurgec (Roma): he thought he was dreaming when Žikica Vuksanović noticed him at the age of 10 and invited him to Maribor
Growing up as a young football player in Slovenia will be linked to the eternal dilemma of what is better. But the country, as in many other areas, is too divided to be more divided. Many believe that anyone who is offered the chance to go abroad at an early age should take it.
At the same time, there are many who stress that going elsewhere early is a mistake and that every football player should first mature and prove himself on home soil. The truth is somewhere in between anyway, but there is no clear rule. Success has never been linked to where you play and where you train, although it is true that there is much more competition abroad, so there are fewer people who actually succeed.
Anyway, there are a number of young and talented Slovenian boys who are still working outside Slovenia’s borders. David Pejičić, who made his debut in senior football at the age of 16, has been the talk of the town recently, and in neighbouring Italy Jan Jurgec is also trying to convince, satisfy and impress.
The 2007-born Maribor-born footballer raised a lot of dust this summer with a much-publicised transfer. Jan Jurgec signed for none other than AS Roma the former Italian champion and certainly a giant from the Apennine peninsula, where they have already proved that they know how to appreciate Slovenian talent.
Luka Mlakar and Lovro Golič have been training in Rome before, the current Slovenian national team player Žan Celar was also there, and Amir Feratović lived and played in the Eternal City for a while. Jan Jurgec is the next player to convince the scouts of a Serie A club to sign a professional contract with the midfielder. It is not officially known how much the Romans paid for the boy, who played 32 games in the Cadet national championship before the move, but there are whispers that Maribor managed to get one of the best deals financially related to the youth drive.
Only 16-year-old Jan Jurgec, who has been a standard member of the Slovenian national team’s younger selections for some time now, was the next to introduce himself to the football public in the country on the sunny side of the Alps in our column Young hopes.
1. Where and when did you start training football?
I started playing football with NK Kungota when I was 5. years. We were a great team and we had great coaches Ragolič and Črnčič. We won many tournaments in Austria and I have ten trophies for the best player of the tournament from that period.
2. Who inspired you to take up football and who has influenced you the most in football?
I couldn’t even walk without a ball as a kid and I knew I was going to be a footballer. I have been most influenced by people who have confirmed that I am doing a good job. Among them is Žikica Vuksanović, who noticed me when I was 10 years old and invited me to join Maribor. At the time I thought I was dreaming… I was also very influenced by the invitation to work with AR Sport Management, the agency of Amir Ružnić, with whom I have a really great collaboration.
3. What do you like most about football?
The anticipation before the game, the joy of winning and the good feeling of being able to do what I enjoy.
4. Your favourite football moment so far?
I have experienced many things in all my years on the football pitch and I would not pinpoint just one moment. Probably my favourite moment was when my agent informed me that AS Roma was interested in me and when I signed my first professional contract with the Romans. The national cadet championship title, which we won with Maribor under the leadership of coach Milan Žurman, also means a lot to me. I am also extremely happy and proud every time I play for the Slovenian national team.
5. Why do you think football is the best sport in the world?
Twenty-two players on the pitch, one ball and a thousand spectators in the stands. Crazy! No other sport attracts so much attention. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, something new happens. Every match, whether it’s in Kungota or Rome, is something special!
6. Who are your football role models – local and foreign?
Josip Ilicic for the home team, Sergio Busquets for the away team.
7. Who is your biggest and toughest competitor and why?
The toughest rival in Slovenia was Bravo, with whom we have been fighting for the national championship title for the last two seasons. Now in Roma, it is without doubt city rival Lazio.
8. What do you think is the most important quality of a successful football player?
Employment. Daily training and total commitment to football!
9. What is the hardest thing for you on the road to achieving your football dream?
Nothing is difficult for me on this path, because I really love doing it. In addition, my family, coaches, club and many friends are by my side.
10. How do you deal with disappointment after defeats?
Of course, there have been some disappointments. It’s not easy, but the next game is usually quick and then you can turn a negative atmosphere into a positive one.
11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Good question… For now, I feel more than comfortable in Rome, where I have really excellent conditions to train and progress. I hope to stay on the Italy-Slovenia line, as I have a passport from both countries (his mother was born in Trieste, op. a.) and I feel at home in Italy too. But I definitely see myself in football!
12. Which of your teammates (current and past) are you sure will make it in football and why?
It would be hard for me to choose someone, because all of us who are in the Slovenian national cadet team have a chance to succeed. It’s all up to us.
This text was automatically translated using AI.