After overcoming a serious injury, Ben Kantarovski is once again turning into a promising midfielder, successfully playing for A-league members Newcastle Jets.
We conducted an interview with Ben Kantarovski back in 2009 on the day he turned 17. He was declared as a wunderkind, the future’s top Australian player of Macedonian origin and even went on trial at Bayern München. Now, a 21-year old (in January he will turn 22), Kantarovski is restarting his career after overcoming a series of injuries that kept him off the field for a long stretch. After recovering from the injury setback, he immediately regained his place in the starting 11 of Newcastle Jets, so far playing in 9 of the 11 games this season, 8 of which lasting the entire 90 minutes. For the game against Brisbane Roar last weekend, according to the club’s fans, Kantarovski was among the best on the field.
In late November, he committed his future to the Jets, “It’s really exciting. I’ve missed a lot of football, so this is another chance to get out there and play for Newcastle for another two years.” The Jets’ CEO was more than happy that Ben and his teammate Jacob Pepper extended their contracts by stating, “Ben and Jacob are two great individuals on and off the field and we are really pleased two young local players will continue their careers at the Jets. Ben is in great form and we believe his best football is ahead of him.”
Kantarovski is a defensive midfielder, a position that is lacking in quality for the Macedonian national team. His last appearance with a national team came with the Australian Olympic team in the qualifiers for the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. If he continues to develop his game, it would not be a surprise if he even gets selected for the 2014 World Cup. Since Angelos Postecoglou took over Australia’s bench following Holger Osieck’s sacking, he started to give more chances to younger players, excluding older players like Luke Wilkshire, David Carney, Brett Holman, Archie Thompson and Sasha Ognenovski in the process, something that disappointed the country’s Macedonian community when it comes to Ognenovski.
“It is still one of my major dreams to play abroad but I know that I have to stay injury free and get back into the form I was earlier in my career to get my foot in the door at a big overseas club. It was an amazing experience to have had the opportunity to go over and train at such a professional club like Bayern München. It gives you that extra motivation to work harder and get into a position you can play at a club like that.” Ben told Fanatix.com in September.
Despite his appearances with Australia’s youth national teams and the Olympic team, Kantarovski is still eligible to play for Macedonia. The new management of the Football Federation of Macedonia (FFM) has said that they done extensive research of leagues across the world, identifying players with Macedonian origin. Kantarovski was already well known as a potential candidate and he could certainly choose to suit up for Macedonia in the future if things with Australia’s national team don’t work out. Macedonia already has one Australian born player on the senior national team in Daniel Georgievski.