ON THE COUCH WITH PETER BULJAN
Goalscoring hero Peter Buljan shares his feelings “On the Couch”
Peter this is your second year with the club after a fairly difficult first season. This season you are currently one of the clubs leading goal scorers. What has been the difference?
After having a difficult season last year, l have mentally changed the way I am going to approach playing this season, and when I scored my first goal of the season in my first start it gave me extra confidence and things have progressed from there.
Peter when you joined South Melbourne the team was in fulltime training. This season they have reverted back to part-time. As a player does this make much of a difference in terms of fitness and playing levels?
I think it does because it means less time to work on your game, but in turn it is very hard for clubs these days to pay players to be fulltime. But in saying that Wollongong won two Championships with a team that was part-time, so it may not make that much of a difference.
Peter, sport in general in Australia seems to be going through a roller coaster ride, with some Sporting clubs asking there players to take pay cuts. What do you think the general public wants and needs to create interest in the sport?
It’s very hard to say, soccer has been trying to work this out since the National League began, but I do think it needs to be advertised and sold on mainstream television a lot more. If the game isn’t televised or even publicised in the mainstream media then it makes it a lot harder to attract corporate dollars (sponsors) and therefore the game itself struggles.
Peter, you have had two opportunities to trial overseas at clubs in Germany and in Belgium. What differences and experiences have you brought home to help you with your Soccer career?
When you train and play it has to be at 100% and that there are no friends in the clubs, it is very ruthless and very competitive, so you must stay strong at all times. I’m a true believer in the fact that you play the way you train. The main difference between Soccer here in Australia and overseas is that the game of Soccer in Europe and South America is professional. Even the lower leagues are full time and that is there full time job. You can’t compare it to a part time competition.
Peter, as in sport and in life, there are always highs and lows. What have been your highs and lows with your time in the National Soccer League?
One of my biggest highlights was being voted the leading goal scorer and player of the year for two consecutive seasons at the Canberra Cosmos. Being given the opportunity to further my career with the South Melbourne Soccer Club has also been a highlight for me. The lowest point of my NSL career would be when I joined Perth Glory and I suffered two bad injuries to my quadricep and ankle, which kept me out of the game for 7 months.