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Przemyslaw Lukasik interview

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Aberdeen have produced some top keepers over the years, and it looks like they're about to produce another in the shape of Przemyslaw Lukasik.


The young Pole was spotted at the AFC Soccer School which he took part in whilst on holiday visiting his sister and has been with the club for the past three seasons. This year he's stepped up to the mark required to move up to the next level. As well as having the talent, young 'Shimmick' as he is known to everyone at the club, has the focus and determination to take him to the very top.


"The team are doing well this season, the under 19s are a young squad with only four boys who are in their last year, the rest are either 16 or 17 - I'm one of the old boys! I think I'm doing ok this year, everything is going as I hoped when I thought about it before the start of the season, but it has helped to have such a good defence in front of me - During the first half of the season we had Clark Robertson on the left, Scott Rumsby and Jack Grimmer in the middle, Jamie Masson on the right. Obviously during our winter break Jack has moved to Fulham and Clark has stepped up to the first team. We do though have Michael Dunlop back after injury.


Przemyslaw Lukasik"There are areas of my game that have improved. My kicking is getting better game on game, my shot stopping is quite good, I've made a few good saves this year. One of my main assets is my speed off the line but it's still something I practice. I am not a really tall keeper who can come for every cross so I need to compensate with my speed. Coming to collect crosses or corners is getting better, I am more comfortable in the games and feel more relaxed.


"Jim Leighton has been a big influence on my development. We sit after the games and talk about the performances but I think he has been pleased so far. I feel I'm more consistent, because of playing regularly. I get on well with all the first-team goalkeepers, Jamie Langfield helps me a lot. Me and Danny Rodgers, the other youth keeper, are good pals as well, but I think all goalkeepers have a bond".


For Przemyslaw he's not only getting a football education. It's extremely challenging for a young lad of only 16 to move home, never mind to a foreign country with a new language. "My English has improved. I still have to do my English classes on Thursdays and I think that has helped me a lot. I am also doing my driving lessons and I passed my theory test a few weeks ago so it's going well".


Unlike the SPL, the Clydesdale Bank Youth League enjoyed a winter shutdown during most of December and January. The only downside to this is with last Friday's game against Dunfermline being cancelled the U19s have not played competitive match since beating Hamilton in the previous round of the SFA Youth Cup on the 4thDecember.


"It is not ideal that we have not played more games recently but that aside I think the break is a good idea, especially for players like me. It was only the second time I've been home this season. Home for me is Wroclaw - our home town team played Dundee United earlier in the season in the Europa League and beat them. I went to watch the game as it is my local side, I used to play for them before I came to Aberdeen".


The eyes of the footballing world will be on Poland this summer when the European Championships are played there and in the Ukraine. What's the mood there?


"I think the entire country is excited and trying to prepare as much as they can because it is a pretty big thing for us with new stadiums, new roads, shopping centres etc. Off the pitch I think things will go well. On the pitch I am not so sure! We don't have the hardest group but it is hard to say, we are inconsistent. Without playing qualifiers it is hard to judge the level we are at".


Lukasik has been involved with the Poland U19s, but the country isn't keen on picking 'exiles', mainly for financial reasons.


"I would like to be part of the national set up but it all depends on where I am with Aberdeen at that point. I know there are lots of goalkeepers at my age who go to England and to Holland. There are not that many young outfield players abroad but we seem to produce a lot of good goalkeepers for some reason! We always have - Jerzy Dudek was always my favourite player."


Despite his success this season he and all the young goalkeepers in Scotland face an uncertain future. The demise of the reserve league means most teams are off loading young keepers as they are not ready for first team action and they're not willing to keep them on the wage bill.


"It is hard for young goalkeepers because you finish 19s and you need to play games and goalkeepers are late developers. Unlike in other positions where teams will play 18 or 19 years old, as is the case with Fraser Fyvie and Ryan Jack, very few teams would be willing to play a 19 year old goalkeeper. I think loaning goalkeepers out is something clubs will have to look at".


The U19s have an exciting second half of the season ahead of them. As well as a good league position they have a massive SFA Youth Cup tie against Celtic on Sunday "It some ways it was a disappointment when we heard the draw, I was hoping to get them in the semi-final or the final but we know we can beat them, especially at home. It will be a very difficult game but with Rangers, Hearts and Hibs all out of the competition we have a great chance of doing well if we can get through".

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