Our next interview features Macedonian U21 national team goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski, currently on loan with Spanish side Granada from Udinese.
Stole Dimitrievski, who turned 20 years old this past December, was born in the city of Kumanovo, but he made his name as a teenager while playing for Skopje based club Rabotnichki. Dimitrievski was given a chance by Rabotnichki as a young teenaged which ultimately culminated in his transfer to Serie A side Udinese. Since then, Stole has been loaned to two Spanish clubs in Cádiz and now Granada. As a reminder, Udinese and Granada have the same owner in Giampaolo Pozzo, so they do a lot of business concerning player exchanges.
Granada currently lists Dimitrievski on its first team as the third keeper behind Roberto Fernández and Orestis Karnezis. He has made the bench on one occasion this season, while his other appearances all came while playing for the Granada II team.
Dimitrievski is also a member of the Macedonian U21 national team. Manager Boban Babunski has alternated between Stole and Deni Iliev as the goalkeeper position for the U21 squad. In the last qualifier against Portugal earlier this month, Dimitrievski was given the nod in goal by Babunski.
We recently conducted an interview with Dimitrievski where we talked about his early beginnings in football, his feelings on playing against Lazio in the Europa League, his thoughts on his current situation at Granada and his competition with Deni Iliev on the U21 national team.
MF: Stole, tell us more about the start of your career? When you started playing the game, where you always a keeper or did you begin in a different position?
SD: I started in Kumanovo where I played with Kumanovo Eurosport, a private school in that city. I originally began as a center-back and later shifted to goalkeeper.
MF: In the summer of 2011, when you were still 17 years old, you got a chance from Rabotnichki to play against Lazio in the Europa League. How was that experience?
SD: Well, even before that, I played in 6 more games in the Europa League. It was also a great feeling to play against Anorthosis, but the matches against Lazio were the biggest thrill and experience in my career to this point.
MF: Later that year, you transferred to Udinese and was then sent on loan first to Cadiz and now to Granada where you primarily play for the Granada II team. How is your situation there and what is the biggest difference between Spain and Macedonia?
SD: Ever since I came to Granada, I have been training with the first team where I serve as the third keeper (in addition to starting for the II team). The difference between the two countries is that here you find the best keepers in the world, while in Macedonia there are good keepers.
MF: What do you see as your biggest strength and are there things you want to work on to improve as a player?
SD: Well, obviously I want to continue improving. There is still a lot of work to do for me to be able to reach the world class category in the keeper position.
MF: For a long time now, you have played for the Macedonian U21 national team. How is the competition between you and Deni Iliev?
SD: It is understandable that the competition is intense in trainings, and the manager has given a chance to both of us. In the near future, I think we should also enter the picture for the senior national team as soon as possible.
In the next day or two, we will publish our interview with a key member of the senior national team in Agim Ibraimi. The interview was centered mostly on topics concerning the national team. Be sure to visit the site over the next day or two to read what Agim had to say about his favorite memory of playing for Macedonia, his preferred position on the field, the relationship between Macedonian and ethnic Albanian players on the team, his first impressions of new manager Boshko Gjurovski, and his thoughts on Macedonia’s group for the EURO 2016 qualifications, along with a couple of questions about his club team Cagliari.