17-year old goalkeeper Matija Gocmanac found himself on a list of players for a Novi Pazar game on Friday.
“I started my pre-season with Partizan youths, finished one of the training sessions, when the call came. It was some ten days ago, goalkeeper`s coach told me I`m to join senior team. I was so excited, I wasn`t able to hide my emotions” – said Gocmanac.
His goalkeeping coach is Jusmir Hatunic while Nenad Brnovic is in charge of the Partizan youths. Gocmanac started his youth career at FK Kopaonik.
“I made my early football steps at Kopaonik Brus, followed by a move to OFK Beograd and, upon recommendation from coaches Zoran Kraljevic and Djordje Pantic, I finally moved to Partizan and now I`m coached by Nenad Brnovic”.
Gocmanac says his goalkeeping idols are Manuel Neuer and Vladimir Stojkovic. Now, he is excited to be part of Partizan senior team.
“Everything is really incredible, everyone took me on great. I get constant advice from goalie coach Jovsic and I try my best to fix my flaws. It`s an honour and privilege to train with keepers Stojkovic and Popovic”.
Gocmanac is also Serbia U-17 regular.
“Coach Dejan Brankovic made me regular, now we are coached by Milan Lesnjak. Next year, we have EC qualifiers in Slovakia. We are in a group with France, North Macedonia and Albania”.
Gocmanac on his first game with seniors.
“I have to admit I had a bit of the jitters on the way from our training camp to the ground, I was impatient to get there. I was quite excited in the dressing room and couldn`t wait to get out for a warm-up. When I stepped onto the pitch, the feeling was incredible, it can`t be put into words. It`s simply childhood dream come true. I carefully observed our match and I`m glad we won after a good performance”.
Lots of hard work is ahead of Partizan young keeper but he already has his favourite career moment.
“It`s a penalty save against Crvena Zvezda when we won them 1-0 at home”.