“In my opinion, keepers have to be like tigers,” commented Janjus. “With every goalkeeper I have worked with, I explain to them that they have to not have any fears. If you are confident, no one will score on you.”
The former Yugoslavian international has worked with several keepers since 2010, producing talents such as Attinella, who after his breakthrough season in 2012 made the move to Major League Soccer. Now, Janjus is focused on developing the Rowdies’ current keepers Restrepo and Fontein.
“He makes sure we are always at the top of our game,” expressed Restrepo. “Since I got to the club, Janjus has always told us how important it is to be agile in goal. My skills have developed greatly thanks to his weekly training.”
Janjus is a former professional soccer goalkeeper from the former Yugoslavia. He was just 14 years old when he turned professional playing for FK Zeljeznicar. At 17, he was already one of the greatest legends of FK Zeljeznicar and Yugoslavian soccer. During his time with the club, he played a vital role in winning the Yugoslavian League Championship in 1972.
“He had such a great professional career,” said Rowdies Executive Vice President/Technical Director Perry Van Der Beck. “His experience shows when he trains our keepers, and he pushes them to be better every day.”
During his lengthy career, Janjus played in the top leagues of Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Germany. Due to his performances in goal, he earned himself the honor of playing for the Yugoslavian Men’s National Team at the senior level. Janjus served as the goalkeeping coach for the Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS) from 1996-1998, while joining the Rowdies for the 2010 inaugural season.
“He knows we are young and that we can still grow as players,” explained Fontein. “Janjus has been great and has demanded the best from us whether that is in practice or on gameday.”
The recent performances of Restrepo have been a testament to Janjus’ training. The Rowdies goalkeeper earned his second NASL Player of the Week after making several one-on-one stops on Carolina’s offensive last Saturday. Restrepo and company will look to extend their unbeaten streak to nine matches this Saturday, when they travel to face the RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.
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