6 questions with Bregalnica GK Filip Gachevski

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Filip Gachevski; photo: Dragi Gerasimov FacebookFilip Gachevski; photo: Dragi Gerasimov FacebookBregalnica keeper Filip Gachevski, the current record holder for going 912 minutes without a conceding a goal in Macedonia, sat down with our website for an interview.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have received several questions about Bregalnica keeper Filip Gachevski. Should he receive a call-up to the senior national team? Is what he is achieving in the Macedonian league legit? So, we decided to interview Gachevski to learn more about the player, from his early days to his current stint with Bregalnica.

The goalkeeper situation within the national team is very fluid besides the starter Tome Pachovski. His recent two backups, Martin Bogatinov and Kristijan Naumovski, are either without a team (Bogatinov) or not playing (Naumovski). Thus, given that situation, it would be a surprise if either of those two players gets called up for next month's qualifier against Slovakia.

One potential new name is Bregalnica goalkeeper Filip Gachevski. At 24 years old, he recently broke Pachovski's record in Macedonia by going 912 minutes without conceding a goal. Given that Darko Tofiloski has also resumed playing for Košice, it is likely that one of those guys, or maybe even both if Macedonia also plays a friendly next month, will be summoned to the national team squad by manager Ljubinko Drulović, alongside Pachovski.

Bregalnica has been in good recent form; photo: Stipski AsoviBregalnica has been in good recent form; photo: Stipski Asovi

So, we decided to contact Gachevski, born in Slovenia, to learn more about the player. We talked about his early days, his thoughts on breaking the record and more in the interview below.

MF: Filip, tell us more about your start in football? Have you always been a goalkeeper?
FG: My start was with Murska Sobota (Mura). I began with football when I was 6 years old. I learned my first lessons from my father. Even from a young age, I wanted to be a goalkeeper. I trained with Murska Sobota and passed all age groups from U8 to U18. I debuted for the first team of Mura when I was 17 years old, in a friendly game against Dinamo Zagreb. So, at that age of 17, I would become the first keeper for my team (at that time competing in the Slovenian second division). With my good performances, at age 18, I made a transfer to Kapfenberg, a club that at that time competed in the Austrian top division. Afterwards, I played for FC Lustenau (second Austrian division) and now Bregalnica (first Macedonian division).

MF: This season you broke the record of Tome Pachovski by going 912 minutes without conceding a goal in the Macedonian league. What did that mean for you and your teammates?
FG: I never even thought about the record. First of all, I never knew what the Macedonian record was, or who held it. When I went five games without conceding a goal, I slowly started to think about the record. I know that for me and my teammates it was very hard as we had a lot of pressure. In the end, we survived 912 minutes without conceding a goal, and I am very thankful to my teammates and my defense. That is a great achievement, not only for me, but also for the whole team to go 912 minutes without conceding a goal, and that was done with a team that was fighting to avoid relegation.

MF: You were born in Slovenia, a country that has produced great goalkeepers like Samir Handanović, Jan Oblak and others. Why do you think so many good keepers have come out of Slovenia?
FG: Slovenia does a great job of working with the youth selections. Maribor, Ljubljana, Murska Sobota, Celje, Koper, Gorica and Kran all have phenomenal academies. All of the players who are good, even at 16 years old leave for abroad. Slovenia has tremendous talents and goalkeepers. My idol is Samir Handanović who in my opinion is a top-5 keeper in all of Europe. Then you also have Jan Oblak who at 22 years old has a chance to one day become the best goalkeeper in the world.

MF: Before you signed with Bregalnica, you spent several seasons in Austria. How would you remember that time? Even though you experienced difficult moments, can you still learn something from a situation like that?
FG: I was in Austria for 5 years, one of them being as a loaned player to FC Lustenau. When I was in Austria, that was the hardest period in my life. It was very hard for me and I don't know how I survived 5 years. The people most responsible for my patience during those difficult times were my parents. I learned a lot and I don't want to make those mistakes ever again.

MF: Formerly you played regularly for the U21 national team. Now, you're being viewed as a candidate for the senior national team as well? What would a call-up mean to you?
FG: I made 15 appearances for the youth national team of Macedonia. And now, it would be a huge honor if I received a call-up to the senior national team. It would be a tremendous privilege to once again wear the national jersey of Macedonia.

MF: Lastly, your contract with Bregalnica lasts until the end of this campaign. What is your plan for next season? Is it possible for you to stay in Bregalnica, or would you like to continue your career abroad?
FG: As a club, Bregalnica holds a special place in my heart. It gave me support when I needed it most and when it was the most difficult for me. Even right now, I have several offers from within Macedonia and from abroad. However, I will not rush it because I'm confident that the cards will fall where they may.

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