The Slovenian players’ union SPINS organizes a training camp for out of work footballers in Turkey. Amongst the participants are six former national team players.
The current economic recession is felt strongly in the world of football, even more so in smaller countries with minimal TV rights and sponsorship contracts, like Slovenia. Despite being a participant of this year’s World Cup in South Africa, the average income of players in the first national league was drastically reduced with more than 50 percent. Last November two first division clubs went into proceedings, leaving an unprecedented number of very good professional players stranded on the street.
Led by former Slovenian Player of the Year 2007 Ermin Rakovic, several of those players organized joint training sessions. From the middle of December 2009 more and more players started attending these sessions, amongst others several former national team players, which goes to show the gravity of the situation at hand. The Slovenian professional football players’ union, SPINS, offered the players to cover all the costs of training grounds and equipment.
Due to a lack of decent job offers in Slovenia, it soon became clear, that the players would have to try their luck outside the national borders. Coupled with the current freezing weather conditions of more than 15 degrees below zero, which do not allow normal training sessions, SPINS decided to organize training camp in Antalya, Turkey, from 1 to 10 February.
Besides having good training conditions, there are several other reasons to go to Turkey. One of which is that the region of Antalya at that time hosts more than 50 professional football clubs, with most of them still looking for new players. The training camp is deliberately held after the end of the January transfer period, which leaves the clubs to choose only unemployed players, therefore leaving the Slovenian footballers with a much bigger chance to sign a contract.
The SPINS selection consists of 18 players and will play four matches during its nine days in Turkey. The team is coached free of charge by Bojan Prasnikar, former Slovenian national team coach and the coach with the most Slovenian championship titles won. Last year he led German Bundesliga club Energie Cottbus.
The SPINS team has already played two games in Slovenia. It beat first division club Interblock 4-3 and second division club Sencur 3-1. It is indeed a very strong team, with six former national team players (underlined), two of which were voted best players in Slovenia (Rakovic and Amer Jukan).
Participants to the SPINS FIFPro Antalya 2010 winter training camp are: Adi Adilovic, Aleš Kokot, Boštjan Kreft, Igor Lazic, Velimir Varga, Rok Marinic, Gregor Režonja, Amer Jukan, Patrik Ipavec, Ermin Rakovic, Blaž Puc, Marijan Tomažic, Janez Zavrl, Eldin Adilovic, Uroš Korun, Adnan Alagic, Arlind Elshani, Mario Pavic.
- Published: 28 January 2010