Time for Serbia's goal king to rule

Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Highlands Park and Kaizer Chiefs at Makhulong Stadium, Tembisa on 04 August 2019.
Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Highlands Park and Kaizer Chiefs at Makhulong Stadium, Tembisa on 04 August 2019.
Image: ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

The early good form of Kaizer Chiefs striker Samir Nurkovic already has the club's supporters dreaming, but little is known about how the Serbian was scouted.

Amakhosi signed Nurkovic from the most unlikely of corners: from unfancied outfit KFC Kormano in the Slovakian second division.

The 27-year-old delivered a man-of-the-match winning performance in Chiefs' recent 2-1 comeback win against Cape Town City at Newlands Stadium on Tuesday.

Kearyn Baccus and Daniel Cardoso scored late goals after Kermit Erasmus had put City ahead.

Last season, the Serbian marksman caught the attention of scouts after scoring an incredible 23 goals in the 28 games for Kormano.

Though he made a name for himself in Slovakia, Nurkovic is an unknown entity in his home country.

"My people back home don't know him because he never played professionally in Serbia," said agent Ivica Stankovic, who represents among others Milutin Sredojevic.

"I only knew him now playing for Chiefs. I think they got him through a contact they have in Slovakia."

It appears it was Middendorp's contacts in Europe who alerted him to the striker and he then proposed to the Chiefs management that he should be one of the players who should be signed.

Already, he has scored one goal and has provided an assist in four appearances. After scoring his maiden goal against SuperSport United at the weekend, Kormano posted on their Facebook page: "Last year's goal king . didn't lose his shooting skills even in the south of the first league."

Chiefs are now top of the table with 10 points after three wins and a draw. After the win, their coach Ernst Middendorp alluded to the club's signings and transfer policy.

"We are on the
market and that is why the club has a scouting department in-house and externally," said
Middendorp.

"I could say nothing will happen until September 2 [transfer window deadline].

"We are always looking, but we are not desperate to do something," said the Kaizer Chiefs coach.

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