Interview

Nikola Komazec: “My time with South China was an amazing year”

Nikola Komazec was Offside.hk player of the season last year.

Nikola Komazec has been out of Hong Kong for just half a year, yet still remains hugely popular with football fans in the city. Since leaving South China in the summer, he has had brief stays in both Egypt and Lebanon. Life is ever changing and people have to adapt and change in order to continue their journey, and Komazec is looking forward to the future. In an exclusive interview, Komazec shares his thoughts on the past few months, his love for South China and the future which awaits him.

UPDATE: A few hours after the interview Hong Kong Premier League club Pegasus FC confirmed the signing of Nikola Komazec. 

“I was in Egypt for one of the biggest clubs and I had signed a contract for three years. I was already there for one month, but I had problems with some papers and I could not register in the league. Therefore I cancelled my contract after one month. Then two clubs from Lebanon called me and my choice was Salam Zgharta, one of the biggest clubs in Lebanon. Last season they were second and this season, they played in the qualification for the Arabic cup, a very important cup competition in the Middle East.”

“I played in Lebanon and I scored a few goals, which were important. So this was the correct decision for me, as it is necessary for me to play instead of waiting until December. Otherwise your value would also go down. I played well and the club wanted to give me a new contract, but I preferred to wait for a few other options. The football in Lebanon is not bad, though the infrastructure is a problem and this is one of the reasons I do not want to stay there.”

“I came to Hong Kong just to visit my friends and to finish some private things. I will stay three days in Hong Kong. Then I will go back to Serbia and wait for new options. Everyday, I get many fan messages and they say that they support me. This is important for every player, as this shows emotions and feelings which you cannot forget. If you play well and give 100 percent, then fans will respect this and fans will never forget this. This is very important.”

Komazec was the Hong Kong Football Podcast’s and offside.hk’s “player of the season” last year.

Komazec was a popular figure across all football circles during his time at South China and even opposition fans acknowledged his positive influence on the local game. Komazec wanted to stay longer in Hong Kong, though this was not meant to be, due to South China’s self-demotion.

“My time with South China was an amazing one year. It was a really good season, though what happened to the club afterwards was one of the worse things ever. I have said many times before that Hong Kong football has now lost a lot and the league is not the same anymore. It’s like Manchester United would relegate to the Championship. I also think the league standard has gone down. I watch a lot of games and it is not the same as last year. Maybe I am wrong, though many people miss South China as they are the biggest club. However, I still hope this name will be back very soon, maybe in two to three years. Many people love South China and this includes me. We hope South China will be back and start to fight again for trophies.”

Contrary to popular belief, the life of a professional footballer is not always a stable one, as constant upheaval is the norm. Komazec reflected on the many changes in his life, both on and off the field.

“My case is not normal (laughs). We always want something better and I was really happy and wanted to stay and play for South China for a long time. So I extended my contract, but in the end this is what happened and I had to leave. It is difficult sometimes, as you always change and live in different places and different cultures. But now I have experience and I have played everywhere in both top leagues and medium leagues and the change has become normal. Sometimes you feel tired, but I am happy and I like to play everywhere.”

When asked if he missed the city, Komazec said he held Hong Kong in high regard and was open to returning.

“Yes, I was very happy in Hong Kong and people respect you. I have friends here and I miss this city”

Nikola Komazec back in Hong Kong? His love for the game is huge and his passion would rub off onto both fans and other players in a positive respect. Only time will tell.

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