Touted as a world-class talent in his teens, 29-year-old midfielder Aleksandar Nedović hopes a move to FK Rudar Pljevlja will help him taste glory in Montenegro.
Initially a trainee at FK Budućnost Podgorica, Nedović's development was big news in local footballing circles, with many saying he had the potential to emulate the achievements of the club's other major exports – Predrag Mijatović and Dejan Savićević. For all those predictions, things never quite worked out for Nedović, yet he could still earn a second shot at the big time.
The coaches and captains of the 12 Montenegrin top-flight teams recently voted Nedović the best domestic player of 2007 – an honour he was only too delighted to accept. "This award means a great deal to me," said Nedović. "I am especially proud because the jury was made up of coaches and players. Their voices are the most important ones in the game."
Nedović returned to prominence with modest OFK Grbalj, the Radanovici-based side who made their debut in the UEFA Intertoto Cup last summer, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Romania's CF Gloria 1922 Bistrita. Grbalj had finished third in the inaugural season of the Montenegrin league following independence, but went into the winter break fifth, prompting Nedović to accept a move to fourth-placed Rudar Pljevlja.
Nedović said: "I want to win something and I think Rudar can become the best club in Montenegro." He added fondly: "Grbalj play the most attractive football in Montenegro. We weren't so competitive and that's why we didn't win a trophy last season but we always wanted to play attacking football – to score at least one more goal than the opposition, not to concede one less. I enjoy that kind of football."
Joining Rudar has revived memories for Nedović, who made his professional debut for the club as an 18-year-old on loan from Budućnost, before getting his big break in 2000 with a transfer to FK Partizan. "It was the start of an interesting but very difficult footballing journey," he explained. "I made my mark at Budućnost but I will always regret that I never got a real chance in two seasons at Partizan."
He subsequently plied his trade with Serbia's FK Cukaricki and FK Napredak, Ukraine's SC Volyn Lutsk, Korea Republic outfit Incheon United and Azerbaijan's FC Inter Baku before heading home to Montenegro. "My career could have been completely different had things gone well at Partizan, but there's no sense in thinking about the past. I have a new challenge and want to enjoy it."
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