Stefan Šćepović (Serbia, 10/01/1990) has become the man of the hour in the Liga Adelante and LFP.es chatted with the Balkan striker just after it was confirmed that beginning on the 30th of June 2014 he will, for all intensive purposes, be a Sporting Gijón player. In his first season with the Asturian outfit he has scored 17 goals in 25 appearances, a tally that has earned him a regular place in José Ramón Sandoval's team and has given the club hope in terms of gaining promotion to the Liga BBVA.
LFP.es: You came on loan to Sporting and have carved out a place for yourself in the team. What is the main priority of the club in your opinion?
Šćepović: Since coming here the first day I have felt at home in Gijón because of the way the fans, the club, my teammates and the technical staff have treated me. I’m very happy to have signed this new contract and hopefully we can achieve our goals this season.
LFP.es: On the topic of goals, your coach told LFP.es that the club deserves to be back in the Liga BBVA.
Šćepović: The fans, the city and the people inside the club deserve to be in the Liga BBVA. We have a squad of young players and fingers crossed we can celebrate a job well done at the end of the season. We’re on the right track, we're playing well and hopefully we can get promoted.
LFP.es: Your first taste of professional football was here in Spain with CP Mérida, where your father played. What memories do you have of Spain?
Šćepović: That was a beautiful part of my childhood. I started playing with Mérida and I remember a few things. I had some wonderful times there with my father, brother and sister.
LFP.es: Your father was also a forward. What did Stefan learn from his father in terms of football?
Šćepović: When we're all together at home my father, my brother [who plays for Olympiacos FC] and I have football in common. We've seen some videos of his playing days, because it was a long time ago, and we learned a few things. He was very good at heading the ball and perhaps I learned that aspect of my game from him.
LFP.es: Were you expecting to play so well during your first season?
Šćepović: I am always confident about what I do and that's why I came here. The club told me about the project they had to return to the Liga BBVA and I knew a lot about the club I was coming to. We started very strongly and then our form dipped a bit, but we’re still up there.
LFP.es: You got off to a great start and broke Chicote's 1930/31 record, and also scored your first hat-trick as a professional. It seems that Gijón suits you!
Šćepović: (Laughs) Yeah, I scored five goals in the first five matches. That was very special and something I will remember fondly for the rest of my life. I also scored my first hat-trick as a professional and feel really good here, but not just because things are going well. I have to continue playing like that because that’s the way to achieve more.
LFP.es: Up next you take on Deportivo de La Coruña, how do you see that match going?
Šćepović: It's going to be a very difficult match, like every game in the Liga Adelante. It will be very special for the fans who make the trip, because Riazor is such a historic stadium. We have to do our job on the pitch and hopefully we can return to Gijón with a good result.
LFP.es: Now that you know you'll be staying at the club, what are your personal and professional goals?
Šćepović: First of all I want to get promoted. I want to play for Sporting in the Liga BBVA because they have given me so much. I feel at home here and hopefully I'll be here for a long time to come. My only interest is getting promoted with Sporting.
LFP.es: Why do you have Stefan and not Šćepović on the back of your jersey?
Šćepović: (Laughs) I wanted a bit of a change, plus I wanted to make it easier for people because my surname is difficult to pronunciation. It doesn't bother me if people can't pronounce it, but above all else I did it so people wouldn't get tongue-tied trying to say my name.