Sunday, 22 October 2017 | News today: 0

Ezgjan Alioski: Leeds made my dream to play in England come true

Following the excellent matches in Swiss Lugano after gaining a more engaging role on the pitch, one of our best football players, Ezgjan Alioski, changed the club environment this summer and signed for Leeds United. Since the very beginning of the season in the Championship League, the popular Gianni has won sympathies from fans, has already written several assists, and managed to win the Man of the Match award in the match against Sunderland on Saturday. In an interview with Republika, Alioski spoke about why he chose Leeds, about the impressions and expectations of the new club.

1. About a week ago you completed your transfer to Leeds United. How are you feeling as new Leeds player and what are your first impressions from the new club?

ALIOSKI: I am happy that the transfer went through. It’s an honor to play for Leeds United and since the very first contact, there was the general sense that the club wants to achieve something and that there’s something at stake in terms of getting to the playoffs and striving for promotion.

2. The previous months there was a lot of interest for you, as the media reported about interest from various clubs from Germany, Spain… Why did you choose Leeds United and England from all the offers you had?

ALIOSKI: It’s true that I had several offers to choose from. But in the end, Leeds United made it easy for me. I’m ecstatic that my dream to play in England has come true and I’m looking forward to learning and improving my skills so I can get even better. Leeds really put in an effort to get me on board and when you look at the club’s history and pedigree, the infrastructure, it all makes perfect sense.

3. Your new club is a world known team with rich history. What are the team’s objectives for this season, and what do you think are the chances for getting promoted in the Premier League, having in mind that Leeds came just one spot short at the table from securing a place in the playoffs?

ALIOSKI: Well, the main aim is to improve based on last season’s achievements. That means finally getting into the playoffs. What follows after, I cannot comment on. It’s no use speaking of promotion at this point in time, it’s way too early. The Championship is a tough division, very balanced. All the teams can beat each other. I think it’s best to take it from one game to another, step by step. And having a good start to the season can be helpful, too.

4. You had a great last season in Lugano in which you netted 16 goals, after being given a more attacking role on the pitch. Do you think you can repeat that score this season, having in mind the quality of the Championship division?

ALIOSKI: In the end, success is based on team effort. It’s not just about me, it’s how we perform as a unit. Team spirit is essential. I will try everything I can to help the team achieve its goals.

5. The Macedonian national team U21 made their first appearance on a European Championship last month in Poland. What do you think about their performance in the tournament and about their potential to add further strength to the senior team?

ALIOSKI: Yeah, I watched almost every single game and was mightily impressed by our youth team. It was a great tournament and the lads did well representing the country. Playing against Spain who boast so many talented players from clubs such as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona among others was a very tough affair for instance, but in general, I think Macedonia performed really well in Poland. Despite the loss against Portugal, they had a couple of really good chances and the defeat against Serbia was rather unlucky. All in all, I’d say the U-21 players have had a great experience participating and I can’t but praise their effort and dedication. Even when they were down, they did not give up and continued to go forward. Those attributes will be very helpful making the switch to the first team. Our youngsters are very talented, ambitious and – most of all – they focus on teamwork.

6. In the last international games, you are becoming one of the key players for the Macedonian national team. What do you think about the future of the national squad since it is changing and getting younger, and what are our chances of qualifying for a big tournament in the years that come?

ALIOSKI: I can say that we are getting better and better with each match. Our youth setup is fantastic and our manager puts an emphasis on integrating young players early on, which I think benefits the squad immensely. Personally, I am already looking forward to the EURO 2020 qualifying stages.

 By: Goran Zivcevski