New Downs goal-poacher ‘swayed’ by Nurkovic

Slovakian Safranko a close pal of Chiefs striker

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Pavol Safranko.
Pavol Safranko.
Image: Mamelodi Sundowns/Twitter

Kaizer Chiefs striker Samir Nurkovic, 29, played a role in convincing new Mamelodi Sundowns striker Pavol Safranko to come to ply his trade in this country.

This was revealed by Nurkovic’s agent Dajan Šimac. The 26-year-old Safranko, who’s a Slovak, recently penned a five-year deal with Sundowns, joining from Romanian outfit Sepsi OSK.

“First of all, Safranko wasn’t cheap [various reports indicated Sundowns paid around R12m for the Slovak]. They [Nurkovic and Safranko] had a chat. Safranko was impressed when he saw everything about SA,’’ Šimac told Sowetan from Europe.

“He [Safranko] first read about Samir on the internet and they got close then Samir encouraged him to come because SA is a good country and the PSL is a good league. Seeing Samir doing well for Chiefs also made it easier for Pavol to see that he can also come and see how things go for him.”

Šimac, who’s a German-born Croatian, also vowed he’ll bring at least one European to the Premier Soccer League in the current transfer window. It is worth highlighting that Šimac, a retired defender, doesn’t represent Safranko.

“I am working on building my network in SA. I am close to bringing one more European to the SA league in the current window,’’ said Šimac.

Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has since disclosed that Safranko tagged his family along, feeling that will make it easier for him to adapt quicker to SA life and the way the Brazilians play, having followed their games.

“What also helps is that he [Safranko] has brought his family across. His adaptation period will also be a little bit fast-tracked because he’s got a little bit of stability with the wife being here,’’ Mokwena said.

“When we signed him four months ago, he already accepted that he’s got a responsibility to understand the way we play, he has been watching the games and discussing with us, and that shows eagerness to be part of the team.’’

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