Milos to meet mates in Chatham Cup
It’ll be mate against mate when Milos Nikolic takes the field for Central United against Mt Albert Grammar in their Chatham Cup soccer tie tomorrow.
When the two sides met at the same stage of the competition last year, the 18-year-old was still at school playing for the Mt Albert team.
While he has stepped up to the big leagues after finishing his secondary education last year, many of his friends still play for former All White assistant coach Kevin Fallon’s Mt Albert side.
He says the friends he has spoken to aren’t nervous about the match, even though they lost 5-0 in their previous encounter.
“They’re quite excited to play against Central again and do better than last year.”
The Greenlane resident says the professionalism in the Mt Albert Grammar team was great preparation for the step up to Central United.
“At Mt Albert you’re encouraged to be focused as a footballer so you can put in your best performance every week.
“We get basically the same message at Central,” says Milos.
And the message is obviously getting through to the striker with 10 goals in his first season of senior football.
Milos says he has noticed the difference in skill level after playing in the men’s competition.
“There are more focused sides – it’s defi- nitely a bit tougher.”
As for the result of the match, Milos is reluctant to make a prediction.
“I don’t like to call a game – I just go out there and do it.
“But it won’t be as easy as people think.”
Central United coach Peter Martin says Mt Albert Grammar success stories like Milos’ mean his team have to be at their best tomorrow.
“He’s made a really easy transition from school football to playing men’s football.
“It’s a huge positive that Kevin brings to the game and that’s why we have to be wary of them. Some of the MAGS kids could play in the premier league right now.”
The match takes place at Mt Albert Grammar from 2pm.
Ahead of the game: Milos Nikolic, left, takes on Hamilton Wanderer’s James Amphlett for Central United during the Northern Premier League earlier in the season.
Early days: Milos Nikolic, right, tries to get the ball for Mt Albert Grammar from Central’s Craig Dale during their Chatham Cup clash last year.