MacedonianFootball.com has conducted an interview with U21 national team manager Boban Babunski.
After Macedonia U21’s nearly historic qualification tournament for UEFA EURO 2013, in which the team was just a step behind the second place and the chance for playoff, we have conducted an interview with Boban Babunski, the man who led the team in the past several years.
MF: When have you decided to stay in the world of football and start working as a manager?
BB: As soon as I have finished my football career, I knew I will take up managing.
MF: Macedonian media and football audience can often be rude with their critiques, especially nowadays, in the era of the internet. How do you handle those critics?
BB: I can understand them – there are always 2% of people who try to destroy everything you do. I try to avoid them and cooperate with those who are giving positive criticisms.
MF: Many people who follow Macedonian football closely consider David Babunski as one of the next superstars for the national team. But, Dorian Babunski, your second son, is also on the right track at the moment. Do you expect a call to the national team for David? Have you listened to negative comments when you have called up David for U21 national team considering you are his father?
BB: To be honest, every member of the U21 national team is like family to me. David, alongside with several other players, have the quality to be in the national team. Prior to calling him in the team, I was asked many times why I am not giving a chance to him.
MF: Do you work individually with your sons or their development is in the hands of their clubs?
BB: Whenever we can, we analyze their match and training performances so we can evaluate their play better.
MF: Most of the U21 members have played in different clubs, different countries and it was certainly difficult to keep in touch with every one of them. What methods have you used for better communication?
BB: Besides personal contact with the players, we have used video materials, media reports, we have sent scouts to watch them and we were also in touch with their club managers so we can have as complete a picture as possible.
MF: For the last 2 qualifications matches, against Northern Ireland and Serbia, you have made several changes to the squad which resulted in a win against Northern Ireland but a defeat to Serbia. What was the reason to do such major changes?
BB: The reason is always the same – intuition and individual condition of every player at the moment always combined with their will to achieve the collective target.
MF: In many countries big investments are made in football. Macedonia seems to be an exception. How big are our chances for being competitive in the future if money avoids football?
BB: It will be a nearly impossible mission.
MF: What do you think, which football style suits Macedonian footballers the best?
BB: Creative style with good technical and tactical combination.
MF: Where should the young players look to improve their play in the future? Technically, physically?
BB: Technically and physically yes, tactically equally, but attention should be paid to the psychological and mental part of football.
MF: There are many football talents who are not improving with time and instead of becoming great footballers, their career ends early. As a manager you have surely witnessed such cases. What do you think is the reason of this?
BB: Every sportsman must have self confidence and be 100% determined to succeed. Only in such case they can fulfill their dreams and wishes.
MF: Where do you see yourself in the long term? Maybe in ‘A’ national team or in some club where you can work with players on daily basis?
BB: In the future, it will surely be good to try out both spheres.
MF: And for the end, possibly the most important question. Are you staying with the U21 national team?
BB: It is a great honor and a great privilege to lead this team. I hope to lead the team in the future and have a good cooperation with everyone involved.