Exuberant, energetic and full of life, Nikola Komazec wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve and from the off, it is clear that football is his life and he is living out his dreams. In the course of about half a year, Komazec has lit up the Hong Kong football scene with his passion and zest. Probably the best signing of the season so far, the Serbian goal machine has plundered goals for South China with his sharp mind, quick thinking and phenomenal sense of awareness. With the ball at his feet and near the goal, any opposition should be wary and many fans will remember his last gasp equaliser against Johor Southern Tigers in the home leg of the AFC Cup game against the Malaysian giants.
From humble beginnings in the former Yugoslavia and now Serbia, his sheer love for the game has propelled him around the world. Now he is with Hong Kong side South China and has become a cult hero for his work rate and winning mentality. Komazec is a true football fan who is fortunate to be able to play the game he loves and excel in it and it is not hard to be caught up with his enthusiasm, as he describes how he lives and breathes the beautiful game while his knowledge extends to a whole array of other subjects from travel to film to history.
Komazec has linked up well with his teammate Awal to poach the vital goals which have kept South China in contention for the league. He also adapted well to life in Hong Kong and after stints in both Thailand and South Korea, he is now comfortable in the Asia Pacific.
Nikola Komazec took the time to have a chat about his experiences in Hong Kong so far and of course, the many goals he scored whilst being here.
South China are currently third (at the time of the interview), do you think you will be able to catch up with Eastern and Kitchee?
We will see how the season goes. But we have ten more games and I believe we can be first in May. Everyone knows that this is the biggest club in Hong Kong and we have the squad to finish on top.
Hong Kong teams play each other many times in one season. Do you see this as an advantage or a disadvantage?
I am not very experienced with this system in Hong Kong, because if we have 14 or 16 teams then maybe the league will not be as good. Hong Kong does not have that many quality teams. Maybe nine, ten or eleven clubs are the maximum here. So I think it’s okay to play each other three or four times per season.
You have become very popular in Hong Kong, especially amongst the South China fans. How vital is their support to you?
Yeah, I was definitely lucky in this sense, because from the first game on I scored important goals. But this is normal, as this is the footballing life. If you play very well, then fans will love you and if you don’t, then it’s the opposite. I fight hard in all games and this is important for me. I won’t score goals in every game, but I want to show my effort and maybe fans will respect this. Of course, it’s a pleasure to see when fans like me and this gives me confidence for the matches.
You have scored many goals since you have come to Hong Kong. How important have your teammates been in helping you achieve these goals?
Football in Hong Kong has many many great players and I can say that sometimes it is easy for me. We have some top quality players such as Chan Siu Ki, Ryan Griffiths, and Awal. Especially Awal, for me he is probably the best player in the league. I also have many good teammates behind me, such as Sean (Tse) and Phillip (Chan) and they deliver the passes and crosses I need.
Photo: Christopher KL Lau