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MEDIĆ: "THEY'RE MOMENTS YOU HAVE TO FEEL"

Jakov Medić is out of breath. His first 90 minutes at the Millerntor have stretched him to the limit. Exhausted, but happy, the 22-year-old centre-back summarises the game for us in the mixed zone. St. Pauli have kicked off the new season with a 3-0 victory over Holstein Kiel, the effort was worthwhile. Later, Medić garners widespread praise for his performance.

The positive feedback from his teammates and the supporters does not escape the attention of the media, of course. On Wednesday, Medić was invited to speak to Hamburg journalists at a virtual press conference and did his best to answer every question in German. When the Croat talks about the atmosphere created by the 8,900 fans at the Millerntor, his smile tells you he feels every word he says. "It was amazing," he says. "I had so much adrenaline in my body. They're moments you have to feel, they're impossible to describe."

The left-footed defender, who moved to Hamburg from Wehen Wiesbaden in summer, has arrived at St. Pauli. Medić was already friends with goalkeeper Nikola Vasilj before his move and gets on very well with Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, his former Wiesbaden teammate with whom he speaks a lot of German. "It's all been perfect since day one," he enthuses. "The club, the city, the team – I'm happy to be here."

"It's all been perfect from day one."
Jakov Medić

On the field, the new recruit formed a practically impenetrable partnership with captain Philipp Ziereis in the defeat of Kiel. Last term, the Boys in Brown had to wait almost half a season for their first clean sheet, but on the opening day of this campaign the defensive pairing not only posted a shutout, they also restricted the visitors to just a handful of attempts on goal. "Philipp is a good skipper and a good bloke," says Medić. "We talk a lot on the pitch and it worked well on Sunday."

With his rugged, eye-catching physique, and standing 1.93m (6.3 feet) tall, teammate  Leart Paqarada recently dubbed Medić the "machine", and not without reason. His height comes from his father, his power from his mother, a former handball player. There was only going to be one sport for son Jakov, however. "Football is my life," he says. "I watch a lot of football when I'm at home, especially the top teams."

"We've won one game, that's all, there's still a long way to go."
Jakov Medić

The centre-back is now looking forward to the trip to Aue this Sunday (13:30 CET). Yet for the euphoria of the win over Kiel, Medić knows it was merely the first three of a possible 102 points on offer. "We have to place the focus on the match on Sunday," he says. "We've won one game, that's all, there's still a long way to go."

Medić has set himself the target of training as hard as possible and securing more playing time to acclimatise fully to the higher standards of Bundesliga 2. Despite performing well against Kiel, the former Wiesbaden man faces stiff competition for the place on the left side of central defence from vice-captain and Wales international James Lawrence. "Every one of us is focused in training, the competition is fierce," says Medić. "Just because I've had one good game doesn't mean I'll play in the next one. The coach will decide who's the best option on the day."

 

Photo: FC St. Pauli

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