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ULTRA MAG | Issue 1 - Stefan Colakovski

ULTRA MAG | Issue 1 - Stefan Colakovski

Article by: Mickey

Thu, Jul 22.21

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  • ULTRA MAG | Issue 1 - Stefan Colakovski

    On the 5th of August 2010, 10-year-old Stefan Colakovski was in the stands watching Melbourne Heart’s inaugural match against the Central Coast Mariners.

    On the 27th of June 2021, the boy who wore the club’s debut jersey as a fan realised his dream of becoming an A-League champion with his hometown club.

    We caught up with Stefan at the upcoming Melbourne HQ to kick off a new series capturing local players in their truest forms, ditching the agenda and allowing them to fully express themselves. We hope this series helps tell the stories of our best domestic A-League and W-League players, to push the game here and the culture around it. We all need to work together on that. 

    Catching up also gave us a chance to chat football - moreso his origins coming through at Pascoe Vale SC, a club his family was involved in during the club's foundation - breaking into the first team at Melbourne City, and his interests off the pitch. 

    It's been an incredible season for you Stefan. Can you tell us about the beginning of your story and when you fell in love with football?

    My father is crazy about football so it’s been part of my life since I was a baby. I started playing at age 4 but I really fell in love with the game when I saw Ronaldinho. He was always doing tricks and as a young kid that’s always the most enjoyable thing to watch. I had long hair and wore a headband so I could look like him.

    During the shoot you mentioned your family was involved in the creation of the club you started at, Pascoe Vale SC, when they arrived to Australia from Macedonia?

    In 1966 the club was founded by a few of my great uncles, all of whom came from the village Nižepole in Macedonia. The club was originally called Pascoe Vale Pelister, named after the mountain the village is located on.

    A few years later my grandfather came to Australia and played for the club and since then my father and many of my uncles have played as well as my brothers and many of my cousins. 

    My uncle is also currently the president. It’s very much a family club and I still love going there on cold Friday nights to eat a cevap roll and support the team. 

    Stefan Colakovski

     love that you said you don’t care what time of year the league is played - you’ll play in 40 degrees if you have to if it means the league flourishes. You also mentioned that you used to go to games in the summer time as a kid with your family. 

    I’ve been watching the A-League since it’s inception, through the good times and the bad. The league has potential and I know that if it’s marketed properly, it can reach great heights. 

    At the end of the day you want to be playing when the league is at its best both on the pitch in terms of quality and off the pitch in terms of crowds and fan engagement. So whatever I have to do as a player to tick both those boxes, I’ll do. 

    I remember going to the games in summer as a kid and have very fond memories from those times. 

    Explain the emotions when you made it, going from fan in the stands to making your debut against Wellington in the A-League. Your family in attendance must have been proud? What was the experience like?

    It was the proudest moment of my career. Obviously going from being a fan to becoming a player is something dreams are made of, but having my family there was something that I’ll remember forever. 

    I’m forever grateful to my family for the support they have given me since I was a young boy and I know that I would never have made it this far without them. Unfortunately, my Dad wasn’t there for the game as he was in England, but he made up for it this season when he flew to Sydney to watch the semi-final against Macarthur.   

    Stefan Colakovski

    What was it like scoring your first goal in the Melbourne Derby - in a game that will forever be looked back on and a scoreline that may never happen again in that game?  Did you realise the significance at the time? The atmosphere must have been immense?

    Words can’t describe the feeling of scoring my first goal in such a big game.

    I don’t think anything will ever top that feeling as I had put so much pressure on myself to score and to finally get that off my back was just surreal.  

    Although restrictions meant the stadium was capped, the atmosphere was still electric. And to have our terrace sitting behind the bench made it even more special.   

    I still don’t think I’ve realised the significance of the result. It was a very special game for us as a club and one that we will always look back on with a smile. 

    Footballers have a story to tell on and off the pitch, would you say there are certain players that you value that are pushing boundaries for footballers? 

    Personally I like the way Hector Bellerin goes about his business. 

    Football always comes first, and especially for me as a young player my priority is to be playing as many games as I can. However, everyone has their own hobbies and interests and I like seeing different players do their thing.

    I think it’s important for footballers to be able to express themselves off the pitch in whatever way they want too, whether that be other sports such as golf, fashion, music or even getting involved in real estate.  

    Stefan Colakovski

    We couldn't agree more. How do you like to express yourself off the pitch? 

    I’ve always loved expressing myself through fashion - even as a kid I always wanted to push the boundaries whether it be through clothes, jewellery, hair etc. I didn’t really take inspiration from anyone in particular but have always appreciated people who stand out.

    We know you love football kits - your appearance at the recent jersey pop-up in Melbourne proved that. What's a football kit and/or item that you love? 

    Fiorentina 1998 Kit.

    Nintendo sponsor.

    Batistuta on the back.

    One of the best kits I’ve seen. 

    Favourite tune to get you in the zone?

    Skepta-Greaze Mode.

    Now that you’re an A-League Champion - what next for Stefan Colakovski?

    More trophies and more goals.

    It feels good to win the trophies we did this year, but I think everyone within the club knows that this is no time to relax. We want to keep pushing and become champions again next season.

    For me personally I want to continue to learn and improve while helping the team with goals and assists.  

    Photography by Aleksandar Jason.

    Stefan Colakovski

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