Today Nik Santaski presents the U21 team of the first half-season 2019/20 from the Macedonian club football.
photo by Nik Santaski: U21 team of the first half-season 2019/20
For the first time there is the U21 team of the half-season. Only players born in 1998 or later were considered, both from the 1.MFL and the two second tier leagues of Macedonia. Stats such as games played, goals, assists and clean sheets, along with tracking the actual games determined which players deserved a place in the team. The formation that best suited this time is a 4-3-3. Keep in mind that players had to start in at least half of the possible games to be considered (meaning 9 of 18 for the first league players and 7 of 14 for the players from the second tier). Furthermore, it was important to take into account a suitable position for each of the starters.
Filip Trajchevski (Pelister) M14 GC14 CS5 Y- R- 1.260′
Goalkeeper Filip Trajchevski played all minutes for Pelister and helped his team to top the second league West. In the past Filip was also part of Macedonia’s U21 national team.
Nikola Serafimov (Vardar) M12 G0 A0 Y2 R0 1.031′
Nikola is a big talent at the central back position, he has enough upside to make it someday to the senior national team. In November in the qualifications he even gained a spot as a starter in Macedonia’s U21. Because of the big competition he is not always a starter for Vardar, but he showed good performances in most of the games he played.
Esmin Lichina (Makedonija GjP) M13 G0 A1 Y03 R0 1.170′
Esmin has already decent experience in the Macedonian top tier. The big and strong CB actually fights for a spot at his team, but shows decent performances when he is on the pitch.
Vane Jovanov (Akademija Pandev) M14 G0 A1 Y1 R0 1.105′
Jovanov is a talented RB, strong and with good football skills. Not always a starter at Akademija Pandev because of big competition in Tomislav Iliev, but with time running Vane plays better and better.
Kristijan Eftimov (Borec) M18 G0 A1 Y4 R0 1.550′
Kristijan had his debut in the 1.MFL in November 2017 while he was at Rabotnichki, but shortly after that he left because he needed more game time. This season he was back with Borec and Eftimov had a good half-season.
Lamine Diack (Shkupi) M18 G1 A3 Y4 R0 1.321′
Diack moved to Shkupi last summer and despite his young age (18 when he arrived) and being in a new country he directly grabbed a spot in the starting line-up. Lamine plays with confidence, has a good physique and fine football skills, additionally he had nice stats even though he mostly played in DM. Good to see that a club from Macedonia was able to add a player who in 2019 also reached the finals of the U20 Africa Cup (Lamine played in the final and converted a penalty in the penalty shoot out, nevertheless his team lost against Mali).
Sefer Emini (Makedonija GjP) M18 G1 A3 Y2 R0 1.543′
Sefer is an allrounder in midfield and one of the reasons why Brazilian international Robson inbetween lost his spot in the starting 11. Emini had a great half-season being one of Makedonija GjP’s best players. Sefer runs a lot, fights, but additionally he has good football skills. Despite playing mostly in defensive midfield he contributes a lot to his teams offensive game. Definitely one of the most underrated players from the 1.MFL.
Goran Tomovski (Akademija Pandev) M16 G1 A0 Y4 R0 1.343′
Kristijan Ivanov left the team, Riste Temelkov had a serious injury, so Tomovski received a long-term chance in Akademija Pandev’s starting line-up. Goran responded with a good half-season playing like an experienced player. He served often as the last man in midfield with a lot of responsibility tactically and in defense and helped his team to be on the third position after the first half of the season.
Omar Imeri (Shkendija) M15 G3 A2 Y0 R0 870′
Imeri started slowly in the season, but collected three goals and two assists towards the end of the half-season what helped him to be in the starting 11 of the team of the half-season.
Darko Dodev (Sileks) M18 G3 A3 Y5 R0 1.246′
Darko was one of Sileks’s most important players during the half-season. He mostly played at the left wing and had three goals and assists apiece.
David Toshevski (Rabotnichki) M16 G2 A3 Y5 R0 993′
Toshevski’s stats are not outstanding, but he was one of the few positive things in Rabotnichki’s bad half-season. David is not just a hope for Rabotnichki, he is also a hope of Macedonia’s football future as he has great skills and shows good games although being just 18 years old.
GK Hristijan Stevkovski (Skopje) M14 GC14 CS5 Y- R- 1.260′
Stevkovski has already experience in Macedonia’s top tier and in Macedonia’s U21 national team, this season he was an important part of Skopje, a team that fights for promotion to the 1. MFL and is actually on the second place in the 2. MFL West.
GK Daniel Kotevski (Ohrid) M13 GC24 CS3 Y- R- 1.170′
Kotevski was a part of Ohrid and played all games except the first of the season. Daniel conceded a lot of goals, but had a tough job as the goalie of one of the weakest clubs from the second league West.
CB Jovan Manev (Bregalnica) M13 G2 A- Y3 R1 1.124′
Just 18-year-old Jovan Manev had a safe place in Bregalnica’s central defense despite good and experienced competition at Macedonia’s second tier richest and actually most ambitious club. In some games Jovan even wore the captain’s armband.
CB Klisman Cake (Struga) M12 G1 A1 Y5 R0 941′
Klisman is born in Pogradec, a town in Albania close to Macedonia’s border. He moved to Struga last summer and showed decent games at CB. He will stay at least for the rest of the season and Struga expects even better games in the second half of the season.
RB Zoran Ivanovski (Belasica) M12 G0 A- Y1 R0 823′
Zoran Ivanovski, who is on loan from Akademija Pandev, helped Belasica to top the second league East after the first half of the season. Zoran is 19 years old and plays also on the right wing.
LB Mihail Manevski (Akademija Pandev) M10 G0 A2 Y1 R0 836′
Mihail rotates with David Atanaskoski at LB, that’s why he has not more game time. When he plays he shows good games and probably would have been a starter with more games for Akademija Pandev.
DM Ali Adem (Vardar) M17 G2 A0 Y5 R0 1.172′
Ali was one of the young guys who received a bigger chance at Vardar because of the transfer ban. Adem showed a lot of running and fighting playing in defensive and attacking midfield. He suits better at DM because of his limitations in the offense, nevertheless Ali deserved a spot on the bench of this team because of his big effort and Vardar’s success during the half-season.
DM Kristijan Ackovski (Rabotnichki) M17 G1 A2 Y0 R0 1.528′
Ackovski was not great for Rabotnichki, but it wasn’t easy as his team struggled most of the time. Ackovski is a team player and shows solid performances.
DM Ard Kasami (Struga) M17 G0 A0 Y2 R1 1.472′
Kasami started the season at RB, but eventually played most of the season as a defensive midfielder. Ard made 17 starts for Struga and missed only one game because of a suspension.
AM Bojan Miovski (Renova) M13 G1 A1 Y3 R0 754′
Bojan is an allrounder in offense and helped his team Renova on several positions during the half-season.
W Arbi Vosha (Makedonija GjP) M17 G0 A0 Y4 R0 1.154′
Arbi’s stats are bad so far, but his play is more than solid. He is an allrounder who mainly played on the wings and helped his team with tracking back and creating chances. Vosha turned 18 last summer and better efectivity is to expect with more experience.
CF Darko Grozdanoski (Sileks) M17 G2 A1 Y1 R0 1.010′
Darko moved to Sileks in the summer and achieved 17 starts at CF. Grozdanoski scored two goals and assisted once. More was possible, but Darko is young and lacks experience on higher level. Still he made it on the bench of the team of the half-season.
Legend: M – matches; GC – goals conceded; CS – clean sheets; G – goals; A – assists; Y – yellow cards; R – red cards.