Colovic Excited By New Challenge With Dundalk FC
After waiting patiently for his clearance to come through, Stefan Colovic is hoping to light up the SSE Airtricity League and propel Dundalk to the group stages of European football this summer.
The 25-year-old Serbian winger arrived in Dundalk on Wednesday night after receiving his work permit and visa. He trained with his new teammates on Thursday and was an unused substitute against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght the following evening.
His first appearance in a Dundalk shirt came in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Shelbourne on Saturday afternoon and speaking to DundalkFC.com, Colovic said he was looking forward to life in his new surroundings.
“I’m excited and very happy to be here and part of the club,” he said. “I can finally start to play now and try and help the team. The guys have accepted me very well and I think everything will be okay.
“It’s a big challenge for me. When I heard about this offer for the first time, I had to think because Dundalk is very far from my home but I want to play in Europe.
“Dundalk is a big club. Every year they are champions but the most important reason for me was to play in the qualification games for the Europa League and Champions League and help Dundalk become champions of Ireland again.”
Dundalk fans have been scouring YouTube for footage of Colovic over the past four weeks and they will no doubt have been impressed by what they have seen: a technically excellent winger who can score and create in the final third.
“We like to play in Serbia,” he said. “In Ireland, it is a bit more physical and stronger but I have no problem with that. My best position is on the right. I would say that I am a right-winger with a left foot.”
A native of Belgrade, Colovic grew up hearing stories about the great Red Star team that won the European Cup by beating Marseille in a penalty shootout in 1991.
Little did he know that some of them, including the great Robert Prosinecki, graced Oriel Park three years earlier where they outclassed the Lilywhites with an exhibition of attacking football in the same competition!
“That generation of Red Star players is one of the best in history,” said Colovic. “Now, Red Star plays in the group stages of the Champions League and Partizan Belgrade play in the Europa League group stages.
“There are two or three other clubs that are very good and we have good players from Serbia but a lot of them play outside the country,” he said.
Dundalk’s next game is a tricky looking encounter against Finn Harps in Ballybofey on Friday night but with a full week of training ahead, Colovic is hoping to be involved in some capacity.
“I can’t wait to start playing games now,” he said. “I am fit but I will probably need a week to train with the team. For the past three weeks, I was able to do some running and work in the gym with my trainer but it’s different training with the team.”