Παρασκευή, 25 Οκτωβρίου 2019

"At 11 steps with TitormosNet": A noon with Admir Bajrovic (English Version)

We celebrated like madmen with his goal. Whether we saw live the game against AEL or from TV. We met Admir downtown, early noon the hours the city calms down and he is getting ready for training. Extremely polite, at the designated place, more than punctual, Panetolikos' striker talked to us about everything. Admir Bajrovic "At 11 steps with TitormosNet", he talked with Konstadinos Rigos, answering questions from Thomas Mavraganis.

  • First of all, Admir, you started the season as a starter but in the last fixtures we saw you coming from the bench. On Saturday you were as we call a golden sub, as seconds after your entrance in the game you scored a magnificent goal. Can this goal be described as a personal relief after a small scoring draught?
Sure. Not only for me but for everybody. We were close in getting the three points. Whether I play the whole game, or 10 minutes like now, I always try for the best and taking advantage of the chances that appear to me. That time I was in the perfect place and I had a perfect chance to score. Yes, it was a relief for me and I honestly had believed that we would grab the three points at that point. Maybe thats the reason I showed so much joy, the three points would meant a lot for the city, the fans, for everyone. It was important not only for me but for the club as well.

  • Immediately after you scored you took of your shirt and celebrated with the fans. What made you celebrate like that and what is your opinion for Panetolikos fans?
The fans mean a lot. For me and for everyone in the club. In all the moments, good or bad they are there. For example, the weekend before at Lamia, it was raining and they were there, standing, shouting, singing, want us to win and that means a lot. They deserve a lot and I am happy that I can give something back with my goals. Unfortunately that was not enough to win and we were a bit dissapointed, but at that moment I thought we had grabbed the victory and thats the reason I celebrated like that.

  • You came here having played in the second tier of swedish football, Superattan division. Could you make a small comparison between the two divisions?
I have not played in the first tier of swedish football but I have seen a lot of games. It is the same style of football. Some teams play quality football, others a more tough, with more deep balls, fighting for seconds balls and trying to score with every way. And so in Sweden the game is physical but there are also teams who try to play quality football (Hammarby IF, Malmo FF, AIK) and they are at the top of the league, as we have like here.

  • In 2014 you a had a serious knee injury (Torn ACL). Naturally, this must have been a big psychological blow to a young player like you. How did you manage to get over it?
It was a tough time, I was young, in Netherlands, in Nijmegen, without my friends and family. I was out for a year. Although I was young, mentally I was really tough. Even now at times I am off squad, like against Atromitos for example. I know I can make the difference, but when you are off you are practically useless. You have to remain focused for the next trainning, next game, give 200% so when you have the chance you are ready to grab it.

  • Which were your thoughts when you learnt for Panetolikos' interest? Had you ever heard anything for the championship or the club? Did you ask anyones' opinion before coming here?
When I heard for Panetolikos Iwas really happy, because with my situation in Sweden I knew I had good stats but no one there saw it coming. I didn't think for it for a second. I had heard for the championship, many footballers played here, and good ones also like Berg. You can say whatever you want about him, he has taken much criticism but he managed to rebuild his career in Greece. So I watched the player that had played here, I knew Kamara and Eriksson were here. I did not asked about anyone's opinion. Why should Ι? I did not have any doubt that it was a huge chance for me because Panetolikos is a great club.

  • Seven months later, do you feel satisfied for your choice to come to Greece, having lived in Sweden and the Netherlands. How is your life here? Do you miss home?
Of course I miss home, but I am here for a reason. I want to make my family proud and Greece is a wonderful country, many Swedes come here for their vacations. It is a beautiful place, Agrinio is a cozy, calm place exactly what I want. I enjoy it, I dont have any regrets coming here, I am totally satisfied.
  • 20 appearances for Panetolikos, 7 goals your stats. An impressive statistic for a player who is not always a starter. Although the real question is what's up with you and penalty taking? 3/3 with Panetolikos' jersey? Have you ever missed a penalty?
As a youngster yes I have lost. But as a professional never, not even once. Of course at some point it will happen, it is natural. But this is not the way I think. You can feel safe when I am taking the penalty (laughs)! Penalty is part of the game, of course you must score, it is important to have e.g. 5 penalties awarded to your squad that will become a goal because that can make a difference in the league table. So as you train for scoring with both legs, from both sides, you should train for penalty taking. You must always be concentrated.

  • What is your favourite hobby here in Agrinio? With whom of your teammates are you the closest?
I don't have many hobbies. I like getting ready for the next training. To keep my body in a good condition and recovering from training. It is pretty hot outside so I don't get out very much. I usually stay at home spending time with my wife and connecting with friends. A few months ago I finished school. When I moved to Netherlands, at sixteen I stopped and lost 2 years of school courses when I went back to Sweden. So I studied for 2 years, taking a lot of courses through an online platform. I am very proud of that, it really made me more interested in reading and learning new stuff. I would also like to gain a degree on something, but I haven't found what I want yet. I admire a lot Alexandros Kavvadias, who is not only a footballer but studies law school as well. I often ask him stuff. He trains and studies at the same time, giving 100% in training which is really tough. He is studying, he always tries to be better. I am close with everyone in the team. I hang out with everyone, we have a good vibe in the locker rooms. The same way I can speak with Rasmus (Sjostedt) I can speak with Giorgos (Liavas) for example.

  • Last years your name was hear for the Cypriot side of Apoel, the team that won the Cypriot league last year, that this year is competing in the Europa League's group stage. Was there any basis in these rumours?
When this came on the surface I had the same feeling like you (curiosity). What I know is there was an interest. But that was basically it, nothing more as I had a contract. Believe me I wouldn't celebrate as I did against AEL if hadn't have this club in my heart.

Around that time we went a bit outside of the subject and we asked if he would like to renew his contract with Panetolikos.

I love scoring for Panetolikos, the club gave me a huge opportunity to grow as a footballer and a man as well. I wouldn't have any problem to renew my contract, I would like to stay here. Panetolikos gave me five fingers I would like to give my whole hand back. Do you know what I mean? Gratitude. When someone give you something you appreciate it. And that is why I have so many feelings when I score. People can't understand, how happy I am when I score.

  • Recently Panetolikos ended his agreement with Luis Castro. Makis Chavos is the new head coach of the team. Could you make a small comparison between these two?
My opinion is that they are two different coaches. Castro wanted us to play a game of possesion, which is very good but you need time to make it happen. Especially when you don't score, the people will naturally start to question the way you play. And this is what happened. Supporters were not satisfied. Against PAOK and Xanthi we had the possession but we didn't create many chances. And the people want a combination of good football and results. Chavos is a coach who from the first moment had his very own thinking of the game. He is strong, has demands, he demands you to work hard, he wants discipline and can reprimand you for that. He wants everyone ready to fight and this is the spirit we need right now and we the players understand it very well.

And taking advantage of his answer.. we asked him about the next match against Aris and if Panetolikos can gain a positive result in Thessaloniki.

We must go there and take the three points. It doesn't matter if Aris is a good team. Personally I believe that whichever the team you are up against you always play to win, and this exactly the situation we are in. We must continue the good tradition the team has in Aris' home pitch, it is the only way.

  • Which are your personal goals and the goals of the team? At first the task to  "hunt" for a european ticket was set by the club but it appears that Panetolikos will try to avoid relegation. Do you believe that the team can turn the situation around?
For sure the situation will turn around. We got points from both last games. Of course we wanted to win but we are in the right track. My personal goals? Maybe I am a bit different from the others but if the team goes well, I go well. You can't be alone in this one. My personal goal is to keep the team high. If you play for the badge in front of the shirt they will remember the name in the back.

  • Closing the interview here at TitormosNet, we like to give players nicknames. Your is "Zlatan of the poor" (we couldn't stop laughing at that point) Do you approve of it? Do you visit our website? And would you like to give a message to the fans of Panetolikos?
Firstly, I approve of the nickname but no one can compare himself to a player like Ibrahimovic. I try to be Bajrovic and give everything I have. If you like calling me like that I don't mind at all. I visit the site, although I am not the kind of guy that reads what is written, I try to avoid this and be concentrated on the game. But i see your posts on social medias, you write many positive things and I appreciate it. We are public figures, so everyone can say his opinion and we try to correct our mistakes.

I am very happy to be here, it is the best thing in my career until now. The people truly love the team and i want to give that back. I want to thank a lot the people for their love and support.

We sincerely thank Nikh Bereri for the photographic coverage