Interview with Aleksandar Trajkovski

Trajkovski (on the ball) in action for Mechelen; photo: mechelen.beOur next interview involves Aleksandar Trajkovski, a 21-year-old attacker who is viewed by many as one of the key players for the future of Macedonian football.

Aleksandar Trajkovski was born in the city of Skopje in September of 1992.  Trajkovski began his career with local club Cementarnica 55 before then transferring to Croatian club Inter Zaprešić in 2010 when he turned 18 years old.  Under the guidance of then Inter manager Ilija Lončarević, Trajkovski developed his game which led to an eventual transfer to Belgium’s championship.

While at Inter Zaprešić, Trajkovski got a chance to briefly train with the U19 team of Chelsea in the summer of 2010.  Chelsea and Inter Zaprešić had a partnership that came about in 2009 when goalkeeper Matej Delač signed a pre-contract with the London based club.  Then, in the summer of 2010, Inter Zaprešić recommended Trajkovski to Chelsea who then invited him to train with the U19 team of the famous London club at the Copa Amsterdam tournament.  Trajkovski made the most of his opportunity and scored one goal during a match against Botafogo.  Chelsea U19 would later go on to win the 2010 Copa Ansterdam trophy.

After his time at Chelsea, Trajkovski returned to Inter Zaprešić with an added sense of confidence and became a regular for the club.  After scoring 4 goals in 15 league appearances, Trajkovski drew interest from around Europe and ultimately decided to move to Zulte Waregem in the summer of 2011.  Aleksandar spent two full years with Zulte Waregem before being loaned to fellow Belgian club Mechelen, the club of Macedonian international Tome Pachovski, back in August of 2013.  Trajkovski initially did not see much playing time at Mechelen under former manager Harm van Veldhoven, but after his dismissal Aleksandar’s fortunes have turned around with the appointment of Frank Vercauteren in January of this year.

Trajkovski, by being born in 1992, is still eligible to play for the Macedonian U21 national team in the current qualifying cycle, but he has missed a number of matches for the U21 team since he has also become a regular for the senior national team.  Aleksandar has amassed 14 caps apiece for both the U21 and senior national teams of Macedonia.  He has netted 3 goals for the U21 team, the highlight being a game winner in a friendly against the Netherlands, while Trajkovski has scored 2 goals for the senior national team.  Those two goals came in back to back games last year when he got on the scoresheet against Bulgaria (friendly on 14 August) and Wales (World Cup qualifier on 6 September).

We recently reached out to Trajkovski for an interview where we talked about his recollections of playing for Chelsea, his decision making in transferring to Zulte Waregem in the summer of 2011, his current loan with Mechelen where he is now teammates with Tome Pachovski, his best position on the field and also his best memory of representing Macedonia.

Here is our question and answer session with Trajkovski:

MF: Back in 2010, you trained with English giants Chelsea and also happened to score a goal in one game. How was that experience? Does it give you motivation that your talent is being recognized?
AT: Of course, playing for a big club like Chelsea is a wish and honor for every player, especially since I had that opportunity to play for the youth team of their club.  I was very proud that we achieved first place at that tournament, and I also happened to score one goal for Chelsea.  That was a great experience for me and afterwards it resulted in my good performances for the clubs where I once featured and now feature.  My talent did not go unnoticed and here I am now playing in the Belgian championship with the football club Mechelen.

MF: You eventually transferred to Zulte Waregem in 2011. What went into your decision to ultimately choose Zulte as the right destination for your career?
AT: At that moment, the signing with Zulte Waregem was a very good option for me when you consider that the club had a good reputation and that the Belgian championship possessed considerably more quality as opposed to Croatia where I played for Inter of Zaprešić.

MF: Currently you are on loan at Mechelen. How do you feel at this club? Does having Tome Pachovski as a teammate help you?
AT: Yes, I’m at Mechelen on loan and the conditions for play are very good.  My teammates are true professionals and now with the arrival of new manager Frank Vercauteren, and the two wins under his guidance, he has raised our self confidence, not only for me but the whole club.  Meanwhile, with Pachovski I get along very well.  We are house friends and he has helped me a lot when it comes to adapting to my new teammates.  Also, I’m teammates with Pachovski on the national team of Macedonia.

MF: What would you say is your best position on the field?
AT: The position that suits me best is either on the right or left wing, but playing as a CF is also one of my favorite positions.

MF: What is your best memory of playing for Macedonia (either for the senior national team or youth national teams)?
AT: Without much thinking, I would say that my first debut for the senior national team in the friendly against Azerbaijan is and will be the one match that forever stays with me in my memories.  That is because representing your country is something that every player aspires to achieve.

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