Partizan centre-back Svetozar Markovic wore a captain`s armband during Slovenia preps friendlies and it was a hint who might Igor Duljaj pick to wear it as a first choice once the season kicks-off.
Markovic arrived to Partizan at the age of 11, graduating from club`s youths but left the club in 2019 to sign for Olympiacos. He was then loaned to AEL Larissa and Partizan (season 2020-21) followed by a permanent move to his home club in 2022.
“If I am to be team captain in official matches, it will be a great honour and pleasure to wear Partizan armband at the age of 23. If that happens, I`ll do my best in every training session and every game to help my teammates and everyone in the club”, said Markovic.
23-year-old will always remember his first arrival to Partizan.
“It was back in 2011 and if I`m not wrong, preps were staged in Kosjeric. I was 11 years of age and spotted by Partizan youth coach Milan Ristic while in Jahorina youth camp. I had my first pre-season with seniors in 2017 at the age of 17. Since then, I changed a lot as a person and as a football player”.
After a poor last season, lot more is expected from Markovic and his teammates this time around.
“Pressure is huge, expectations and targets are set high. Every player has certain poor patches game-wise, it`s impossible to keep the same high level over a 20-year career. Most importantly, player needs to pick up and the only way up is to keep winning and to keep training hard”.
Partizan played two friendlies during Slovenia pre-season so far, winning third-tier Slovenians Pesnica 5-0 and losing to top-tier Czech Bohemians 1905 2-0.
“Team energy is good and the results will pick up once we get some rest and reach certain level of freshness. We have two training sessions a day, played two friendlies so far and once we finish the preps and start to feel fresh, everything will be alright”.
Markovic revealed who was the first to congratulate him on a captain`s armband.
“It was my family and my girlfriend. They are as happy as I am about it as they know what Partizan is in my life. Afterwards, it was my teammates who shook my hand. It`s a great honour. I hope all will be good, new season in particular”.