In the latest edition of our Player Profile features, we catch up with Dimce Jimmy Taneski.
Jimmy, welcome to Balga SC Player Profiles. Tell us about yourself, when did you first start playing football & what was your first junior club?
Thanks for having me. I first came to Australia in 1994 and before that I played a little bit of football with a local Macedonian side as a goal keeper until I broke my right arm. After that I thought that playing on the field would be safer. My family moved to Karratha straight after coming to Australia so the first junior club I played for was Dampier Salt Junior Soccer Club. At the age of 16, I was recruited to the Nickol Soccer Club first team setup. At that time, Nickol was considered the best club in the Pilbara region. A lot of the soccer players in that region were ex semi-professionals that loved the game but moved to the Pilbra for family and work reasons. Karratha will always be my second home, in fact, my parents still live there.
Have you always played football or did you have other sporting interests?
I’ve always only played football. I do love to sit down and watch many different sports on TV. You can learn a lot from every individual sport. They all have their different attributes which could come in handy with football as well.
You’ve been to some great clubs around Europe and Australia. Tell us a little bit more about your footballing career and the clubs you have played for.
I have spent most of my life now in Australia but through that time I have traveled back to my birthplace of Macedonia and have spent a little bit of time with couple of Macedonian clubs. I have also represented Western Australia on numerous occasions.
In 1999 I played in the Manchester International Football Tournament. I an proud to say that we finished in second place overall. As a personal highlight I finished runner up highest goal scorer. I still hold many great memories from that tournament. We played against some amazing International teams including Parma from Italy, clubs from the USA, Bolton from the UK and so on.
One of my biggest memories at that time happened in 2000. I had just come back from the UK and was playing for Nickol Soccer Club. In attendance at one of the games was then Perth Glory coach Bernd Stange. He invited me to join Perth Glory on trials. This was a very big thing for me at my young age. Back then, Glory was the only professional set up in Australia.
Towards the end of 2005 I returned to Macedonia and played for one of the local clubs. I have great memories of playing against sides such as Radnicki Nis FC, who were a power house in the old Yugoslav league, and KF Elbasani from Albania, who at the time champions of Albania. My biggest and memorable moment was when I played against my all time favourite Macedonian team, Vardar FC, in a friendly match. I will always treasure that.
In early 2006 I returned to Perth and trained with Perth Glory under then coach Ron Smith. I was invited to trial with a number of clubs in the UK and Asia but unfortunately sustained an injury which prevented me from going. I was lucky enough to be able to see some of the very great doctors in this state, who did an amazing job which allowed me to continue playing the game I loved.
Any career highlights so far?
In football there are always ups and downs. I’ve had my fair share of both but I can say that one of the biggest highlights so far has to be playing in the Manchester International Football Tournament. The teams we played against and also visiting the club I have supported from a very young age, Manchester United. Obviously spending a little bit time at Perth Glory, even though it was just training will be an amazing experience and memory for me.
You’ve played in a few positions for Balga SC. What is your favourite and you feel most suited to your playing style?
I’ve always played as a striker or as a left winger/midfielder. Under the previous coach at Balga, I played on the left back position, maybe because of my age now :). With the change of management, I moved back to the wing/forward position and finished the season as top goal scorer at the club even though I only played about half the season. Every position has its positives and negatives but as long as I contribute to the team and we are winning games I don’t mind where I play.
Ronaldo or Messi?
From my point of view they are very different players and have different attributes, I think both are the best in the role they play at their clubs. I do think that both are one in a lifetime in those roles. Everyone should just watch them play and enjoy the spectacle they provide us with instead of comparing them. Who knows when the next Ronaldo or Messi will come along.
Speaking of superstar players, who is your favourite player and why?
Growing up there two players I mostly admired. The first one was Darko Pancev who represented the Macedonian National team as a striker and also played for Red Star in their champions league winning side of 1991. He also played for Inter Milan. I also loved watching Ryan Giggs play because I played in the same position as he did, when I was younger and I was glad he went on to play into his forties and at the highest level.
Let’s move on to the present and your time at Balga SC. We know you’ve been struggling with an injury since the latter stages of last season. How is your recovery progressing?
As some may be aware, I have been struggling with Deep Vein Thrombosis for the last six months. It happened as a result of a tackle I received against Melville City Football Club towards the end of last season. I am told that I was very lucky that my leg did not break too. A couple of days after that game I struggled with lots of pain in the left leg and had to be hospitalized. It turned out that I had a 40 centimetre clot on the deep vein. It was suggested that I was very lucky that I had listened to my body and visited my GP to have it checked out before any other major complications occurred. That is all past me now and I’m glad I have slowly started running and back training with the team this week and I’m hopeful I will soon experience a game situation and get that confidence back I had, before the injury.
How is it having your brother as the coach?
I joined Balga a year before he was appointed so when I was told the news that the committee had decided to pursue his services I was normally happy for him but I was a little worried too. Bobby knows me at my best and he expect me to be at that level. I also felt the need to show and do more than anyone else on the squad just in case other players may feel there is some favouritism between the two brothers but I can assure you its harder to play for your brother than any other coach. The spotlight seems to be always at me when I make a mistake 🙂
You’ve been with us for a few years now, what are your impressions of the squad so far and what are the aims this year?
This is by far the best squad so far and that is not to down play the previous squads. Balga is a club building for the future and is currently on the track of that five year plan. I’m really impressed because this squad is also younger than other squads we have had previously which means the future is bright. The aims of this squad this year is to be competitive and the end of year to be challenging for silverware and I believe we can achieve that.
And personally, what do you want to achieve this season?
From a personal point of view, I’m just happy to be up and running again and playing the sport I love. I will take it one step at a time this year and hopefully to be playing with the first team again and winning the title at the end of the year.
UPDATE: Since this interview was conducted, Dimce has successfully returned to first team football at Balga SC and has featured in the Night Series final group game against Ashfield scoring 2 goals and in the quarter final game against Shamrock Rovers scoring 1 goal.
I remember playing against Jimmy in Karratha and as much as i hate to say Nikol were the powerhouse up there, largely because of Jimmy and his lethal left foot, which i got to experience first hand (or foot). He was striking the ball but i sneakily pushed it out for a corner but Jimmy was halfway through his kick and it’s hard to stop a freight train going at 110 km per hour, he followed through and caught me just under my right thigh lifted me a couple of feet into the air and i couldn’t walk for a while afterwards but Jimmy is such a professional he made sure I was Ok before returning to the field, for the record Nikol thrashed Dampier salt again that day. Keep it up mate and good luck for the season to come I’m sure you’ll get another golden boot.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Graeme. Jimmy is a true gentleman.