Egri FC’s Igor Pisanjuk speaks to HungarianFootball.com

 

Born in Serbia and moving to Canada as a young boy, Igor Pisanjuk has  found himself playing in Hungary for over 4 years. Starting his professional career at Ferencvaros, Igor quickly established himself as a hot prospect becoming part of Fradi’s successful NBII campaign at the age of just 20 years old.

During his time at Fradi, Pisanjuk represented his adopted country, Canada at Under 20 and Under 23 level netting two goals in the process.

In 2010, he moved on loan to Szolnoki MAV of NBII and again secured a winning medal, netting an impressive 9 goals in 24 games.

After moving to Egri at the start of this year, Pisanjuk again picked up an NBII trophy, and scored the Red & Blues first goal of the new NBI season against Haladas in Szombathely in July.

At the age of just 22 Igor already has 3 NBII winners medals to his name, but as he tells HungarianFootball.com, he has the ambition to become an NBI star. You can follow Igor on twitter @igorpisanjuk

[h5]You grew up in Serbia, but began your footballing career in Canada. At what age did you move to North America?[/h5]

I was born in Serbia and moved to Iceland when I was 4 before moving to Canada in ’96 at the age of 7. Canada, being the only home I actually remember, I consider myself having grown up there.

[h5]You played for Erin Mills SC before moving to Ferencvaros in 2008. What was the standard like compared to Hungary, and how did you get on playing for them?[/h5]

Yes, I played for the Erin Mills SC Academy. The standard, in Canada, is good in the academy levels. My skill developed a lot in Erin Mills. I learned a lot from my coaches and older teammates, took it all in stride.

[h5]How did your opportunity to move to Fradi come about?[/h5]

The head coach of the team, Josef Kolmodi, is Hungarian. He got me the trial at Fradi and after making some tough decisions to move away from my family and friends, I signed with the team.

[h5]What was your time like at the Florian Albert? The team was in a bit of a mess when you first joined.[/h5]

After moving to Budapest and learning what a legend Florian Albert was, I felt so honoured to play at the stadium. Although, the club was in second division and took 2 years to get promoted, I enjoyed the whole experience. I was so young and was learning to adapt to the European style of play, and the lifestyle, it was a great learning curve for me.

[h5]Not long after the move your made your debut for the Canadian Under 20 side. This must have been a really proud moment? How do you look back on your youth international career?[/h5]

I still remember the day when I got the call to be a part of the National Team to represent my country, I was very excited about it. Everyone who knows me knew how much that call meant and how proud I was to be able to play for my country. My first camp went really well and I got the opportunity to play in the U20 World Cup Qualifications, with some amazing talent. I was also part of the U23 squad but due to an injury was not part of that team for the 2012 Olympic qualifications.

[h5]How did you adapt to life in Hungary? Fradi at the time was inundated with Englishmen which maybe would’ve helped you with the language barrier?[/h5]

At first it was difficult to adapt to life in Hungary because I was only 17 and was living away from home for the first time. I had to step up and learn to speak Hungarian in order to be able to communicate to my teammates and staff. When Fradi became sister clubs with Sheffield United there was a lot of change. The team got English speaking staff and team members so that helped with my ability to communicate with my coaches freely and they could explain thoroughly what they wanted and expected from me.

[h5]What was it like working under such experienced people like Bobby Davison and Craig Short?[/h5]

I learned a lot from the English staff, especially Bobby Davison and Craig Short. They helped me understand the game a lot more and made me grow up a little faster. They taught me how I can be a lethal striker even with my smaller stature compared to most English style strikers and how I can stack to up them on the field. To this day I still have their voices in my head that advice to see my own mistakes and to improve as a player.

[h5]You won your first of 3 (!) NBII titles at Ferencvaros. How much relief was there getting that big club back into NBI?[/h5]

It was an incredible feeling and I was very proud for my team to be promoted back to the NBI. It was one of the first big accomplishments in my career and I will always have a place for it in my heart.

[h5]You had a successful loan move to Szolnoki MAV in 2010, and won your 2nd NBII title in 2 years. How was your time at MAV?[/h5]

I also enjoyed my time at Szolnok because obviously as a footballer, you’re always growing and developing and I felt that the games I played were good and I was continually developing. We played great football that season and I’m glad that I was more involved in winning the title.

[h5]At the start of this year you moved to Egri, and secured your 3rd NB2 title at the age of 22 (surely some record). How good do you rate this side compared to your other clubs?[/h5]

I don’t know if it’s any sort of record, but I’m proud of it, nonetheless. I joined Egri FC and couldn’t be happier with how things are turned out. Being part of yet another team that is promoted and we’re now playing in the first division, it’s a feeling that words can’t describe. We have a very good atmosphere and positive chemistry between the players, who are all very talented. I really can’t compare the sides because my involvement and contributions have been so different in each of the clubs.

[h5]You scored the first goal of the NBI 2012/13 season with a superb finish against Haladas. How do your rate your chances of surviving this season, and what is your personal target for goals this year?[/h5]

I am very happy and proud that I could come out and score my first goal in the first match of the season. I think we have a incredibly talented team which was only strengthened over the summer and we have a very good chance to stay in the first division as we have proven with our matches as of late. My personal goal is to have 4 or 5 more goals come December. And hopefully the same amount of assists to my name as well. But the main goal, for all of us, is to keep Egri FC in the NBI.

[h5]Do you have any other hobbies apart from football?[/h5]

I enjoy watching movies and just being with friends. I enjoy playing sports with friends like hockey and basketball.

[h5]Are you still ambitious about playing for the Canadian Senior Side?[/h5]

Yes, I like representing my country and would be proud to play for the senior side if the opportunity arose.

[h5]Do you go back to Canada often? Or Serbia?[/h5]

Every summer and winter break we get off in Hungary I am in Toronto. I love being home with family and friends. And they always welcome me as if I was never gone. Luckily I have a great family and amazing friends that take time to visit me in Hungary and make it easier on me for being abroad.

Every time I am on the football pitch I want to make them all proud and that’s what drives me and keeps me going.

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