Colakovski: It’s a special feeling

It has been well documented that Stefan Colakovski has been with us since day one, donning the red and white at AAMI Park long before he played a big role in our first Championship win.

Colakovski – along with his family – were foundation members of the Club in our inaugural season, back when we were known as Melbourne Heart.

Although they were a passionate football family, the Colakovski’s didn’t initially warm to the A-Leagues’ first Melbourne based team. That would change with the inception of Melbourne Heart.

A young Stefan Colakovski at AAMI Park with his family.

“From memory, I think my dad knew someone that worked at Heart, so we all kind of just followed him and became members in the first year, then just kept going from there,” Colakovski said.

Colakovski is living a dream that so many children around the world can only imagine. He’s gone from fan in the stands, to Academy graduate, to a regular in the first-team squad.

Unlike any other current player at Melbourne City, his connection and love for the Club was formed a very long time ago.

Like most Heart and now City fans, a young Stefan Colakovski would always look forward to watching the team play in Melbourne Derbies at AAMI Park.

“There’s not really a single standout memory but they were just always the best games to go to as a young kid,” he said.

“I’ll always remember going to games with my family and getting a hot-dog and coke from the canteen at the games. It was what I looked forward to every week – seeing the boys in red and white, and then later on, City blue.”

In those early days of cheering his team on at AAMI Park, it was a certain Brazilian forward who captured not just his heart, but also the back of his shirt.

“My favourite player in the early days would’ve had to be Alex Terra,” Colakovski said.

“I remember his goal in the first Derby and he was just such a little magician.

“As a kid, I was always that little attacker, so for me, I kind of looked up to him in that aspect.”

Since working his way through the Club’s Academy, there have been plenty of memorable moments in the City blue shirt for Colakovski. The trophies are of course the big highlights, but those aside, it’s his first goal for the Club that he holds closest to his heart.

“It was all just so surreal and something that I’d dreamt of ever since I was a kid,” he said.

“I remember before the game I told a few of the lads ‘Look, I’m going to score today,’ and I came on, had the chance, and took it.

“I ran straight to the fans, and I was just so full of excitement. It was kind of like a monkey off my back to get that first goal, and to smash Victory to that extent was something that hadn’t been done before.

“The whole night was really special to me, and my goal just topped it off.”

Just as special for Colakovski is seeing fans in those same seats he once sat in, donning his name and number on the back of their shirts.

A fan favourite at City, more and more of those shirts seemed to pop up at AAMI Park last season, and there will no doubt be plenty more again in 2021/22.

“It’s very surreal and very humbling. These kids, guys, girls or whoever gets ‘Colakovski’ on their shirt have got so many great players to choose from, and for them to choose ‘Colakovski number 17’ is a special feeling,” he said.

“It gives me even more motivation because I know ten years ago, it was me getting Alex Terra on the back and now if kids are getting my name, it means when I step on the pitch, I have to do something special because that’s what they want to see.

He may now have 28 Isuzu UTE A-League appearances to his name but Colakovski said the feeling he gets walking onto AAMI Park never gets old.

“Every time I step onto AAMI Park in front of the fans it’s the same feeling; from my debut to the derbies, to the Grand Final, to any game really,” he said.

“Growing up a fan and going to the games, then now playing at AAMI Park as my home ground is something that I’ve always wanted to do.

“I don’t think that feeling will ever wear off.”

Be there on November 19 to see Colakovski and his teammates kick off the season against Brisbane Roar! Head to shop.melbournecityfc.com.au to become a City Member.