Article by Djuradj Vujcic

The Serbian White Eagles Academy (some players not pictured)

Top row: Marko Krasic (coach), Igor Joksic, Adam Vukasovic, Filip Kusic, Filip Arsenijevic, Maksim Brelak and Petar Planic (coach)

Bottom row: Daniel Johnson, Luka Boljak, Nikola Stanimirovic, Vuk Marinkovic and Lio Kocic

Serbian White Eagles FC is proud of its work in developing elite athletes. Our Academy has been very successful and well organized so far.

After tryouts held last fall for 2010, 2011 and 2012 Boys, our Academy has continued to provide elite young Canadian soccer players with an opportunity to reach their technical, tactical, mental, and physical potential with our club.

Our club has featured many well-known soccer stars who have played at the highest level both in Canada and abroad. Our Academy has the expertise and know-how in getting players to the next level as it is led by current Serbian White Eagles players Marko Krasic and Petar Planic.

I caught up with Marko Krasic to learn more about how this idea came to fruition.

“Due to the fact that I started playing football competitively at the age of seven, and have been playing professionally from the age of seventeen, I developed a love for coaching as well so I enrolled in a coaching school at the same time which I successfully completed with a UEFA B license. I can tell you that I am really happy that we have a good and talented group of boys and that I am proud because they listen carefully, work hard and try to come to every practice.”

Krasic has played in Serbia, Indonesia, Canada and Montenegro but is perhaps best known for his tenure in Hong Kong where he played for three clubs.

“It’s true. Hong Kong is an amazing city that I adore (where I made a lot of friends with whom I am still in contact today) and I spent many beautiful and successful years there.”

Krasic played for our club (on loan from FK Indjija) in 2015, winning the CSL Regular Season. He returned to our club last year – also winning the CSL Regular Season. What can we expect in the future?

“I hope that we are going in the right direction because we have brought in a lot of good players, and I hope that more players will come so that we can expect a successful season. As for the Academy, Petar Planic and I are in charge of developing and perfecting the children in football. As I mentioned, the kids work hard, they try to convey in every game what we practice in training sessions – so we are very satisfied with them.”

I also caught up with Petar Planic to learn more.

“I was thinking about what I could do after football and coaching children is one of the things I would like to do. I studied a little, I have a completed C license, and due to the experience of playing in professional leagues I have the conditions to apply for a B license as well so I will definitely finish that soon. By the way, I love children, I have two of them myself, and I believe that I can transfer the experience I gained playing professional football to children. To educate them both in football and in life.”

Planic is satisfied with the experience thus far.

“I enjoy working with young people, and I am very happy when I see the children improve after a certain period of training. It’s a nice satisfaction and it makes me proud. It is a sign that they like my way of working, and that they enjoy every training session and game. I would like to emphasize that I do not train the children by myself. Marko Krasic works together with me – a person with huge playing and life experience.”

Planic joined our club in the 2022 season.

“I came here at the invitation of my old friend, whom I have known for more than ten years, and who is now a coach in our club – Bojan Zoranovic. He explained the whole situation to me, told me the best about the club, about President Bakoc… Everything he told me, I saw myself. I have accepted the whole story here, I like life here, I hope my family will come soon and that we can enjoy Canada together. Football is at a good level, there are interesting teams. But I believe this is the year of the White Eagles.”

Planic has played in several countries and has a large social media following. A fun fact I noticed is that fans from Bangladesh came to watch his playoff games last season at Esther Shiner Stadium.

“I have played in many Asian countries, and I have the most followers from Indonesia. For them, football is everything. A couple of years ago I got an offer to come to Bangladesh and play in a tournament for a team from their Premier League. I believe that I left a good impression on all of them – if they have the desire to come and watch me. Although, I also played for a team from the Maldives, and we played in the AFC Cup against maybe their biggest team in the country, and we beat them. That could be one of the reasons as well. As for the impressions of life over there, everything was positive. Life is a little more difficult, but people are pleasant and always want to help you. For them, you are not just a footballer or an athlete – it was as if you are something more.”

What can we expect from the Serbian White Eagles going forward?

“I believe that the future of the White Eagles is very bright. A lot of good and experienced players came last year, players that can play at least a few more quality years of football, so I believe that this can be our year in every sense. Let’s all stay healthy, which is the most important thing. Our coach Bojan (Zoranovic) is doing a good job and now it will take some time to prepare well and enter the new season ready. And as for the Academy, I believe that we can raise it to an even higher level in many segments. There are many children in Toronto and I invite them to join us and come to play soccer and have a good time with new friends. The team of kids who have already been here is very good and of high quality, so I really believe in our future success.”

Thank you to Marko and Petar for taking the time for our website. May this year indeed be the year of the White Eagles!

To learn more, please visit the website.