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Canadian keeper Borjan hopes to stay with Vaslui

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After struggling with Sivasspor in Turkey last fall, Canadian national team goalkeeper Milan Borjan found new life after a loan to Romanian club FC Vaslui in March.

Rejuvenated and having found the confidence that went missing with the Turkish club, he started 16 matches blanking his opposition seven times. More impressive was his play down the stretch as he helped the club reel off nine straight wins to end the season, including five clean sheets, to help his club finish second in the table and clinch an important berth in UEFA Champions League.

“When I went to Romania it was like I was re-born because I got playing time, I got confidence from the coaches, the players, everybody. It just felt good. My rhythm got back in the games so I was really happy to get the experience.”

Coming to a new team was an adjustment for Borjan, but he felt accepted from the get-go and had instant chemistry with his new teammates. Although winning games can help bring any team together, the camaraderie was the part that stood out the most for him. Borjan was also pleasantly surprised with the club’s fans who cheered regardless of the result.

“It was mostly the team because we were all together, there’s a lot of guys from Brazil, Portugal, so it was pretty good,” said Borjan, who is in Toronto with the national team as it prepares to take on the United States in a friendly on Sunday. “We were a team off the pitch and on the pitch so that was the best thing about it. The fans were good, the city — it’s a small city but it’s nice. People respect you there when you play if you lose or if you win they respect you. So that was a pretty good experience for me.”

Another tough adjustment was adapting to the different styles that exist in the two leagues.

“They’re both different leagues,” said Borjan. “The Turkish league is different because everything is about the speed and the Romanian league is about movement on the field and tactics.”

Uncertain Future
Borjan said it doesn’t matter where he plays next season along as he gets the chance to play. Nobody will argue with that point of view but it’s hard to believe he would want to make a return to Sivasspor after tasting success with Vaslui.

“It’s not about the teams,” said Borjan. “For me it doesn’t matter I just want to play and just show my skills, everything, what I have. I’m still a young goalkeeper and I want to improve myself more. I just want to get the confidence of the coaches and just get some playing time.

“But it’s more important to play for a better team obviously in any division or any country. So I would like to stay in Romania but we will see what’s going to happen.”

And of course there’s Champions League — it’s an opportunity that the young goalkeeper does not want to pass up.

“We got the team into the Champions League and it would be nice to play because it’s a good experience for me and for my career,” said Borjan. “Champions League is a big deal. It’s a kids dream.”

Borjan’s stellar goalkeeping has not passed under Sivasspor’s radar as the club has taken notice but his coaches at Vaslui are reluctant to let him leave. However, his focus at the moment is the Canadian national team where he is with the squad preparing for Sunday’s friendly against the U.S. and the first set of World Cup qualifiers that begin next week in Cuba.

“Yeah they noticed, they talked already to my managers,” said Borjan. “(Vaslui) want me to stay there but we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

“I haven’t talked to anybody yet. I’m not answering any calls or anything just waiting to finish with the national team and then I go home. I’m going to go on vacation for 10 to 20 days and then I’m going to think about everything.”

The 24-year old may not see any playing time with Canada as national coach Stephen Hart has already named Lars Hirschfeld his starter but Borjan is just grateful for the call up.

“It was really important actually, I’m really happy (Hart) gives me the confidence every time I’m called to come here,” said Borjan.

“I’m trying to learn every day what’s in training. I’m in shape right now, I’m in good shape. I’ve been playing good so I’m going to wait on my chance and when my chance comes I’m going to show them my best.”

 

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