Samed Bazdar just turned 18 and we spoke to young Partizan forward who was included in The Guardian`s Next Generation 2020: 60 of the best young talents in world football.
Happy birthday, Samed! Who was the first to send you a birthday message?
“Thank you! It was my parents who did it last night and my teammates did it over the breakfast this morning”.
What did you wish yourself for your eighteenth?
“Good health, no injuries, as many minutes possible in the first team, Partizan to win the double this season and to play in Conference League as long as possible”.
Can you compare your early days with the first team with this today?
“I think I advanced a lot. Everything is so much easier now as I`m settled down within the team and things move on gradually”.
Pressure of staying at the top doesn`t allow too much time to coaching staff to devote extra time to youngsters like yourself.
“I spoke to the boss who told me to keep working and how it`s early for me to get more time on the pitch with the first team and I hope I`ll get more minutes after this winter preps”.
How hard are this year`s winter preps for you, compared to previous ones?
“It`s much easier now as I know what to expect and I got ready for it. Preps are quite hard but it will help once the season starts and we get used to such training intensity we develop here”.
How do you feel physically, bearing in mind you know have regular senior football teammates and opponents?
“I think I gained a lot of physical strength working with the first team. Of course, work in the gym with the physio helped a lot”.
Did you get used to first team pressure?
“We are Partizan and out there to win each and every game, even friendlies. That`s what we learned from the tender age at the Partizan youths”.
British The Guardian included you on the list of 60 most talented youngsters in the world. How does such accolade affect you?
“I was glad to see myself on such list and that`s a boost for my future work. I have to justify such recognition and, God willing, I`ll do it”.
We have experienced Ricardo and two youngsters, Milovanovic and yourself, up front.
“It`s a healthy competition up front. Ricardo helps us a lot, he constantly talks to us about on-field situations and we ask a lot of questions too. His opinion means a lot to the two of us”.
How did you imagine playing for the first team would be like? One Dusan Vlahovic once had a dream of playing for Partizan seniors and look at him now.
“He is a true example of how you should deal with your football career. All Partizan kids have a dream of playing for the first team, I`m no different. My dream had come true and I`m over the moon about it”.
How aware Partizan youngsters are of the difficulties of getting the spot under the sun, once you are part of the first team?
“You truly need to justify the faith of the boss, you need to deserve it. Nothing happens overnight, you need to work to deserve starting spot and we try to be spotted. It remains to be seen how it will work out for us young players”.
Who is your football role model?
“Before, it was Brazilian Ronaldo and now it`s Dusan Vlahovic. We are all happy for him here at the club, he deserved it all. Vlahovic should be an example to all of us, especially forward players, how he patiently waited for his big opportunity, playing on loans, and we all know how it turned out at the end”.
Finally, your message to Partizan fans.
“I want them to be with us, to have faith and we will pay them back on the field. With God`s help, we`ll all celebrate the double by the end of the season”.