Hopeful Colovic Looking On The Bright Side Of Life
It’s fair to say that Serbian winger Stefan Colovic has endured a frustrating start to his Dundalk career.
After completing his protracted move from Proleter Novi Sad on February 26th, the boy from Belgrade came off the bench to make his Lilywhites debut in the 4-0 win over Finn Harps in Ballybofey on March 6th, playing the final 19 minutes.
He was mooted to play a part in Dundalk’s home with St Patrick’s Athletic seven days later but with the coronavirus spreading like wildfire, that game, along with the SSE Airtricity League season was put on ice and a ball hasn’t been kicked since.
With the Serbian border closed, Colovic was forced to stay in Ireland but he has kept himself busy over the past couple of months, becoming acquainted with his new surroundings and making use of the gym at Oriel Park in a bid to stay sharp ahead of football’s return – whenever that may be.
DundalkFC.com caught up with the 26-year-old this week.
DFC: Stefan, it’s been a crazy couple of months since you joined the club. How have you managed during the pandemic?
SC: I feel okay. Every day I try to do something. I come here (Oriel Park) and train and keep fit. One day I’ll work in the gym and another day I do some running. After that I prepare lunch and go out to take a walk and have a coffee. The weather has been beautiful and I like the town. The people are good. Des Donleavy (club liaison officer) helps me a lot. Every day he takes me and shows me some places.
DFC: You must have seen everything in Dundalk at this stage?
SC: Yes!! I have seen it all! I like it. I have a nice garden at my house and I can sit out and read books or watch a movie. I am fine on my own. For the past seven or eight years I have lived away from home in other cities. I have no brothers or sisters so living on my own is not a problem but it will be better when you have friends from the club to go and have a coffee with.
DFC: When did you find out that you couldn’t go back to Serbia?
SC: When we stopped training the border was already locked so I could not go home. Because of that, I stayed here. The borders are open now but you need papers saying you don’t have coronavirus to get in and you need to take a test. I can’t go back now because we are hoping to start training. If I did, I would have to go into quarantine for two weeks but it has been okay and I’m hoping my parents can come and visit me in July or August. That would be great.
DFC: How are your family and friends in Serbia?
SC: Everybody is okay. I speak with them every day on WhatsApp. The situation there is better. Not many people have the virus. The numbers have been very low. Everything is open now, and the football starts again on June 1st. They have four league games to play and a cup final, and then they will start preparing for next season. Hopefully, it will be the same here very soon.
DFC: The club is hoping to get permission to restart training in small groups. I’m sure that will be something to look forward to?
SC: Yes, we are hoping to come back in groups of four. That would be better because you can work properly with the ball. I just miss the games so much. Training is okay, but the games are completely different. I have only played once! I had to wait a month for a visa and then when I came I only played around 15 minutes – and then everything stopped. It’s crazy!
DFC: Everybody is hoping that the League of Ireland will restart. I’m sure for the players, it would be nice to know that there is a date to aim towards.
SC: Nobody knows at the minute and that is tough. We could also have a Champions League qualifier in August or September so we need to train and prepare for that possibility. It would be nice to have some domestic games before that but nobody knows.