Today Serious About Rugby League got to have a one on one interview with one of the stars of Serbian rugby league Vladimir Milutinovic.
We discussed this weeks Balkan Super League Grand Final against main rivals Red Star Belgrade, future for Partizan and a few personal questions.
SARL – How old were you when you were first introduced to the game?
VM – I started playing rugby union when I was 12. Then I made the transition to rugby league at the age of 14-15 and it was love at first sight.
SARL – Who is your favorite rugby league player in the world?
VM – That’s a tough one as I have a few different players that I like and idolise. The first player is big Sammy Burgess from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Jason Taumalolo from the North Queensland Cowboys and the Serbian Nick Cotric from the Canberra Raiders.
SARL – What do you do for an occupation?
VM – I finished school this year and I do a few different jobs ranging from delivery driver through to construction as money is hard to come by here in Serbia.
SARL – When you’re not playing rugby league or at work what do you like to do in your spare time?
VM – My friends and I we love cars. We work on cars they’re really good. I’m not into clubbing scene it’s not for me.
SARL- What were your thoughts on last weeks Serbian Grand Final and where can Partizan improve on leading into this weeks Balkan Super League Grand Final?
VM – I think we need some clutch moments, Something big at the end of game, instead of what we offered, We made two big costly mistakes and it cost us the game as we were still in it l. We need to be mentally stronger, stop being lazy in defense and control the ball better.
SARL – How do you guys feel being reigning Balkan Super League champions and do you feel any pressure to go back to back or is the pressure on Red Star Belgrade after the wonderful season they have had?
VM – As I said before the match we are completely relaxed because we know what our mission was for the year and that was to be in all the finals this year. Pressure is a normal thing in this game without pressure there will be no passion or any effort. Yes we are defending Balkan Champions but Red Star can’t afford to lose in this game, if they lose this game they will be sad as they are yet to lose any game this year. Pressure will be on both sides to perform well and I’m looking forward to it.
SARL – Besides yourself who else in the Partizan team is a threat to Red Star Belgrade?
VM – To be honest we don’t base our game on individuals, that’s the reason why we never have a problem when someone is injured, I think the style of play we use here at Partizan is the biggest threat for Red Star.
SARL – Is there anyone in particular that you guys will be targeting from Red Star Belgrade to stop their momentum?
VM – They have a pretty good side now, but I cannot separate anyone, because they are looking really good together, they had some big players with good hands and some smaller but tough, they have probably got the most complete side in the competition. We can’t allow them to dominate us and we need to apply pressure to make them play our game.
SARL – What’s the future looking like for Partizan as a club? Will they hopefully turn semi professional like Red Star Belgrade and hopefully one day compete in the Challenge Cup?
VM – Red Star currently doing massive things for Serbian rugby league. We have to be proud of that, Partizan we have a big heart, we are doing everything from our own pockets without financial backing and for now that is the biggest problem gaining sponsorship and funds but if we continue working hard, training with Australian coaches when they’re in town and have a little bit of luck (that is very important in everything you do) than Red Star will have us as company very soon to compete at the higher levels. At the moment it’s babysteps for us here at Partizan.
SARL – You’re already one of the stars in Serbian rugby league at the young age of 19 where do you see yourself in the future?
VM – Thank you for the compliment I am very humble by that. I am very competitive in everything I do I like to be the best. It’s the same situation with rugby league. I will do my best to hopefully get a professional contract either in France, England or Australia and open doors for young Serbian talent to give them a direct pathway which wasn’t there for me.
SARL – Thank you Vladimir and good luck for the future and this weekend.
VM – Thank you I really appreciate this.
You can view highlights of Milutinovic by clicking on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VfyrNPptFw&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1voi5R8PVgfS2NbNH8HARJT8f5eNcKyYZ8sNA5pME-FEQb_Lf6Q5vAvDg