Nikola Komazec, the KC Southern striker, has been part of the Aberdeen sides incredible renaissance this season.
With some important goals and assists, Komazec has managed to help Southern complete one of their best seasons in recent memory. This has not been an easy year for the affable forward as he faced the physical and mental challenge of recovering from a serious injury which threatened to curtain his entire career.
Fortunately, Komazec is not one to shirk from challenges and his own punishing recovery regime, work ethic and attitude saw him walking and training within six weeks of the injury being sustained and back to playing within a few months.
In an exclusive interview, Komazec, took the time to talk about his injury, his views on Hong Kong football and Southern’s overall season.
WEF: You endured a critical injury earlier this season. How was the recovery process for you?
Nikola Komazec: “First I want to say that Southern have had a very good season and we prepared very well and all season was a great season. For me, in the first two games for Southern, I had some assists and some goals and then I had this injury. I hope no one has this injury like me as this injury is one of the worst in football as I had a fractured Fibula and it was terrible. I have a strong mentality and I needed to be positive and a lot of my friends from Serbia and my family always called me to check on me. My teammates and the people from Southern all really helped me and came to visit me and I would like to thank them and all the fans from Hong Kong.”
“For the first two months of the injury, I could do nothing but the club gave me permission to leave to Serbia to continue my recovery and this was a six week training process with some trainers who had experience and the expertise. If I stayed in Hong Kong, with all respect to doctors and physiotherapists here, I went to Serbia and within six weeks I was already walking well, step by step. There was still some pain in my leg and I think I am more stronger now mentally and I hope this is my first and last injury in my life.”
WEF: Did you think your injury would recover so quickly?
Nikola Komazec: “To be honest, no! Physically, it takes a while to come back to be one hundred percent and to take the pain out. I scored a few goals and a few assists over ten games and it is not a perfect record but it showed people that I am back on track and it is important for me and my teammates.”
WEF: KC Southern have improved so much this season. What changes did the club make?
Nikola Komazec: “In the last transfer window, the club was very smart and the club brought very well from the other teams and the all the players who came had a lot of experience in the Hong Kong league. This included me and other overseas guys (Like Marko Krasic) and some local players.”
“Southern wanted to win a trophy and have invested a lot of money but have not won a trophy yet. We have a great chance to win the Hong Kong FA Cup but will be a tough game against Kitchee who are the best club in hong Kong for the last few years. All games are important!”
WEF: KC Southern FC have a FA Cup final coming up. How important is this trophy to the team?
Nikola Komazec: “Everything depends on the FA Cup and there is a great environment in the team and we deserve this as we work hard and though we have a different style; we have a lot of experience and we have a lot of strong players in our squad. In the end, despite all a person can do in life, no one remembers how you played or the number of goals a person scored; it all depends if you take a trophy or not.”
WEF: You have been in Hong Kong a while now. How do you think the game in Hong Kong can improve and by what means?
Nikola Komazec: “Hong Kong football is not perfect and I can compare as I have played in the K- League and Thai league which are both one level better than Hong Kong football. Marketing has to be a number one priority and if you look at the Chinese Super League, a lot of money have been invested. The Hong Kong league cannot invest like teams in China and maybe, more people who have had more experience outside of Hong Kong, should be placed in to assist.”
“I respect the HKFA but marketing and investment needs to improve as well as well as the facilities though I am happy that the new Tseung Kwan O facilities have opened there. It is natural grass and this is good as ninety-nine percent of teams train on synthetic grass and this is not good; it is not as safe as natural grass and some players have had minor injuries due to synthetic grass. Basically, in terms of facilities and money, more needs to be invested.”
“I have seen old videos and Hong Kong stadiums used to be full! I don’t know where these fans have gone. I guess more people stream the games on youtube and online. What is good is that a lot teams have improved and in the last ten years, you cannot find any seasons like this one, where five or six teams have fought for the league and I hope the games improves like the standard in Thailand and Indonesia where there are problems but also there are a lot of fans who come and watch the games at the stadiums. Hong Kong needs to copy and paste ideas from the Thai, Indonesian, J-League and K’Leagues in order to improve. Hong Kong football is a great challenge and I would love to play for Hong Kong as this is now my second home!”
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