Is Maribor the right club for youngsters? Ljudski vrt responds to accusations that talented boys prefer to go elsewhere to find happiness
Photo: Blaž Weindorfer / Sportida
What they have in common Nino Milić, Nejc Ajhmajer (both Celje), Gal Gorenak (Aluminij), Marko Brest (Olimpija), Luka Koblar, Rok Schaubach (both Aluminij), Rene Rantuša Lampreht (Rogaška), Marcel Ratnik (Olimpija), Luka Topalović (Domžale)? All were once members of NK Maribor
Jan Jurgec, Tai Žnuderl and Anej Koroša have also played for Maribor; all three teenagers are already abroad. We could go on… Maribor has seen a lot of talented players leave the club in recent years. Some of them are abroad, others (one of them is Timotej Brkić, who is gaining more and more attention in Mura) are for the clubs in Telemach First League.
The Maribor pool has always been able to produce good football players. But many waved goodbye before they had a chance to wear the purple on the national stage. But why is that? Should Maribor offer more opportunities to young people? In an interview for Večer
Sebastijan Harc, who has been the head of the football school at NK Maribor since 2011, also answered a pressing question.
“It is difficult to diagnose why they made this decision, just as it is difficult to say what would be right and what would be wrong. We are talking about boys (Jurgec, Žnuderl, Koroša, op. a.) who are 16 years old. Žan Vipotnik came of age at the age of 21. That means five years of a period, of work. Some grow up earlier, but everyone finds their own way. Whether it is right that these guys went, I don’t know. I would not judge whether this is a success or a failure for Maribor. Are we able to develop them to compete in the national team? I don’t know. For Peter Stojanovic, at 16 years old, I couldn’t tell if he would or wouldn’t. There are so many environmental influences, both objective and subjective, that it is simply impossible to predict. They are talented. The club has clearly told them the perspective, what it wants to do with them, how to get to the first team. If they find better opportunities to progress at other clubs, okay. The boys are very good, they have been brought up to a certain extent in our country, we wish them all the best. They will represent our work elsewhere,“, Sebastjan Harc told Večer, while Radovan Karanović, the professional manager of the youth drive, also gave his opinion.
“We often talk about this topic around Slovenia. Dejan Dončić, former head of the youth centre of NK Domžale, has been on our coaching staff since the summer. He said that in the 10 years he was the manager, 22 boys from U15 to U19 left Domžale in the youth years. Of these 22, 19 have returned. That’s telling enough. It may open up somewhere else because of energy, character and something else. This is to be welcomed. But the vast majority of them go abroad to play managerial games, and the boys come back and have to start a new story, because the others have taken their chance. These careers go down rather than up. It is illusory to expect anyone to get a chance in the first team right away. Young boys need to be prepared in terms of fitness, tactics and technique to be able to respond to the demands at a certain level,” said Radovan Karanović, who also managed the team of the giant from Ljudski vrt.
This text was automatically translated using AI.