Decisions I took in last few years were right ones: Luka Majcen | Exclusive Interview

Aug 15, 2023 | Interview

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Luka Majcen wants more young Indian players to play in Slovenia like Som Kumar.

Luka Majcen set his foot on Indian soil in the summer of 2020 and he has been ever consistent and ever reliable for the sides he has represented across the three seasons. The Slovenian has scored 53 goals in India and his exploits of 16 goals in the last season with Punjab FC earned the team their first I-League title and eventually a promotion to the Indian Super League. This also meant that the Punjab-based outfit became the first-ever team to be promoted to the ISL.

Khel Now sat down with the star striker for an exclusive interview where he spoke on a host of topics including his heroics in the previous seasons. Excerpts are below.

Mood in the camp before the debut season in the ISL

Majcen, started off the conversation by sharing his views on the topic and asserted, “The mood in the camp is very positive. This is a result of what we wanted, so no one can take it away from us and this is one moment in our careers that we will have in common and we will have a special bond because of this.”

He further went on and opined that the pre-season has been going as per the plan despite the loss in their first Durand Cup 2023 game against Mohun Bagan. “The pre-season is going as per the plan. A lot of tough practices,” he quipped before adding, “We saw some good things in our first loss and we also saw things which we could improve on.”

Thoughts on the debut ISL campaign

Punjab FC, this season will be tasked to play against better oppositions than they had competed in the previous season. Luka Majcen has accepted the fact and is ready to face the big boys of the Indian Football. Also, he believes his experience of playing in the top division in his home country Slovenia will help the team.
“Where I come from, I have a good experience of playing top division football against the big boys of my country. So, I think I am ready. It is something that I am aiming for. I have had few experiences playing in the AFC Cup but I am ready and proud to be here,” the star striker quoted with a sense of great self-assurance.

Reflecting back on the previous season

The Slovenian in his confident state, reminisced about the good times of the previous season which he believes was a perfect season for the team. “The season was perfect for us. We probably had two bad games last season but we played well and deserved to be promoted. We followed the coach’s instructions and we were a close family.”
Furthermore, Luka Majcen spoke about his personal form last term in which he scored 16 goals in the 20 games he played. “I had this number on my mind. I have scored 11 goals then 13 goals in the next season so I was looking to score 15-16 goals and that was the challenge the club gave me at the start of the season. I am very happy that I became the highest scorer and not second,” he quipped with a smirky smile on his face.

Continuity is the key to success

Punjab FC have decided to retain the core group of their I-League winning campaign and Majcen elaborated his point of view on the decision by saying, “This is the most important thing, that clubs don’t build from scratch each season. The club felt (of retaining) the core from last season’s champions. I can see how we are playing, how we are upgrading, following the instructions of the coach. The new players have settled from the first training session and it can only help in a positive way.”

Personal goals for the season

When questioned about the number of goals he has set for himself ahead of the season, Luka reservedly denied to say out a number, “I do have the number in my mind but I won’t say it out loud but I can tell you that my goal is not to go down a level that I am maintaining.”

On becoming the third foreigner to play all three divisions in India

Luka Majcen is set to become the only third foreigner after Dudu Omagbemi and Katsumi Yusa to have played all the three divisions of Indian Football. The Slovenian believes the experience he has received is a result of some tough decisions he made in the past and he is proud of the rare feat.

“I feel proud and it shows to me that I had not so easy decisions to make during these years but I wanted to stay here, stay close to Indian football. This only shows me that the decisions I took in the last few years were the right ones. I saw Indian football, played against different opponents at different levels and this can only help me.”

Matej Poplatnik’s influence to move to Indian football

Luka Majcen, stepped his foot on Indian soil during the 2020 season but he had his eyes on the ISL ever since the league started. However, after having a chat with former Kerala Blasters star Matej Poplatnik he decided to move to India.
“I had my eye on ISL when it started. I had heard about it. I had an ex-teammate and a friend who played for Kerala Blasters before (Poplatnik) and he told me to have an experience and in 2020 during Covid when everything was closed, I had the opportunity to play in India and I took it and never looked back,” he explained.

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