IFTWC had an exclusive interview with Churchill Brothers’ super striker Luka Majcen, the Slovenian striker who is in the golden boot race in his very first year in India. He told us about his coming to India, his first season in India, about the head coach, and many more.
Standing on the I-League title threshold, Churchill Brothers are ready to lock horns with RoundGlass Punjab FC in the I-league’s final matchday. They are on the verge of winning the third league title and their first trophy after 2013.
The Red Machines were looking for a striker this season after the Trinidadian Willis Plaza left the club after two seasons. They brought in a new coach as well as a new set of foreigners. Luka Majcen partnered with Clayvin Zuniga in the attacking third where they were unbeaten eleven matches.
After spending most of his career in Slovenia, he also opened to us on why he came to India, “ I played in my country for many years but I always wanted to try myself abroad. My friend played in India a few years back and said that I must come if I ever get a chance. He told me lots of positive things so when the opportunity came I didn’t hesitate for a second.”
In football, strikers are there to convert the opportunities they receive in the whole ninety minutes. We have witnessed that few foreigners tend to fail in their first year after coming to India and the time that the foreigners take to adapt is very high. They get back their form at the end of the league. But this did not happen to this 31-year-old Slovenian, who had started to show his form from the very first match of the tournament. He has already touched the double-digit mark and is just after Bidyashagar Singh in the golden boot race. In this context, he said, “Deep down I knew that I’m ready and have enough experience to leave a mark in my first season but there is always that adaptation to a different culture and football factor. I think I showed that I can play here and as a striker, I’m very happy with double-digits.”
After the I-League qualifier, AIFF decided to organize I-League in Kolkata and maintain a secure bio-bubble throughout the tournament during this pandemic time. On asking how important it is to keep the momentum going throughout the season and the life at bio-bubble, he said “ We started the season very good, and keeping that momentum was very important. I think that bio-bubble helped as keeping that momentum because we could only focus on football as everything else was taken care of.”
When Luka Majcen was asked about Santiago Varela who was in his third stint in India, he praised the gaffer and said, “ The feeling is very good. He is one of the hardest working coaches I had in my career and I think this also shows in our results and performance on the pitch. Every practice we do has a purpose. Although I’ve been playing professional football for 13 years now I learned a lot of new stuff from him.”
When asked about the future of Indian Football, he praised AIFF’s effort of building the development team and said, “I think the future of Indian Football is very bright. I especially like the Indian Arrows project where very young guys already have a chance to experience professional competitive football. I think this is the way for the future.”
Due to the pandemic-effect, I-League’s rules and regulations were changed this year where all the teams got fewer number matches compared to the previous years. The Red Machines remained unbeaten in the first phase and qualified for the second phase. They then suddenly lost two consecutive matches where they lost their rhythm. On asking about the atmosphere in the dressing room after two losses, he said “ The atmosphere wasn’t perfect after losing two games but we were staying positive and not losing sight of our goal. The season is not yet finished.” They have set their goals on that I-League trophy and AFC Cup spot
We from IFTWC wish Luka Majcen and Churchill Brothers all the best ahead of their last round match and hope they get their hands at the trophy.