There are only two days left until the end of preparations for Vojvodina football players in Belek. For the past 12 days, the red and whites have been working on adopting the game requirements sought by coach Nenad Lalatović, as well as on creating the best atmosphere and chemistry within the team ahead of the start of the second part of the season.
One of the players who arrived to Vojvodina this winter is 21-year-old Lazar Stojsavljević, a central back who came to the Old Lady from English fourth-division team Newport County and, as things currently stand, the upcoming half-season will be an alternative to Siniša Saničanin at the position of the left central back.
– I am pleased with how we work here in Turkey, where I have not had the opportunity to stay so far. The hotel, the food, the pitches, the weather, everything is really at its best and we make the most of it. We also had strong opponents during the preparations, and I think it is good that we have already played some difficult matches – says Stojsavljević.
Although you are Serbian nationality, you were born in London and have spent your entire career in English clubs?
– In the younger categories, I trained at certain lowerclass clubs in England, and in my senior career my first club was Woking. From there I moved to Millwall and later to Newport County, where, frankly, I was not particularly pleased. When I was given the opportunity to move to Vojvodina, I didn’t thought a second about accepting that offer.
What is the level of football in the fourth English rank and how are these clubs organized?
– Given that this is a fourth division, people in Serbia may have a wrong picture about the level at which these clubs are. However, every club participating in this rank is extremely organized and fully professional in every possible way. On the other hand, the quality of football is not that good, as it all comes down to strength and duel play, and the tactics of almost every team is based on long balls and skipping midfield. The teams play quite sharp and aggressive and therefore it is not easy to play there.
Prior to Newport County, you were a member of Millwall, which in the world of football is mainly famous by its fans?
– At the Millwall games, the atmosphere is really fantastic and I can freely say that it is among the best in England. However, it is not quite as people think, that is, there are no more so many aggressive and dangerous fans. That may have been the case before, but now it’s all calmed down. As a club, Millwall is extremely serious and organized and competes in the Championship, which is a very strong and demanding league. Although I didn’t play much, I carry very positive memories from that period.
Since you are in Vojvodina for about a month, how did you get used to the new team and teammates?
– So far, everything is going well, and I think that Vojvodina has a very quality team, made up of great players, and I am convinced that we will be able to achieve the goals that we have. The training conditions at FC Vujadin Boškov are also excellent and I was even a little surprised with everything that this football center has, because it really has everything: pitches, gym, recovery room, restaurant, rooms…
How did you get used to the boss Nenad Lalatović and how different is his system of work from what you had the opportunity to meet in England?
– Honestly, what he asks of us and what we do in training is not much different from what I have already done in England. Boss Lalatović requires us to be aggressive, always to stand close to the opposing players, and he insists a lot on a duel play, which is what the coaches in England require too. The difference may be only in some tactical ideas, but besides, everything else is more or less the same.
What can the fans expect from you in Vojvodina jersey?
– All I can promise is that whenever I get the opportunity, I will give 100 percent to justify the trust given to me and to show that I am worthy of the jersey I wear. After all, I am sure that the same applies to each of my teammates, and I hope that we will start the second half of the season properly and manage to qualify for Europe – Stojsavljević said.