A former New York Red Bulls Academy player is waiting patiently for his first team debut in England.
Nineteen-year-old Aleks Gogic spent five years in the Red Bulls Academy as a goalkeeper before leaving for England to pursue a new challenge at Reading. After that experience, Gogic is playing for Fleetwood Town in England’s League One, where he tells Once a Metro he has chance at first team football and is experiencing some "quite awful" English weather.
Gogic said to OaM his year at Reading provided him with, "the best keeper training in all of England."
"I learned a lot from the coaches and also talked with Championship-caliber goalkeepers," Gogic said. "[My time there] ended because they weren't offering a new contract so I had to find another club."
After leaving Reading, an opportunity arose at Fleetwood Town, one Gogic calls, "nothing but positives." At Fleetwood he gets the opportunity to train daily with the first team, which has accelerated his development.
"[Training] is more demanding because the players are better and it's more serious than playing for u21s," Gogic said. "I'm honored that they have the belief in me to keep me on the bench, it means a lot to me and gives me more confidence in my skills."
Gogic has made the bench 20 times for Fleetwood this season, and acknowledges he has a long way to go and a lot of room to grow.
"My main goal is to start for the first team, but my other goals are to just keep improving every aspect of my game," Gogic added.
Gogic says the primary areas he has to improve on are being dynamic and pushing balls away in the corners. A major resource Gogic has at Fleetwood to help him in this area is the sports science staff, which he readily compliments.
One positive for Gogic at Fleetwood is the presence of another American on the squad. Fellow goalkeeper Brandon Moore trains and competes daily with Gogic for backup job.
"We didn’t know each other till I signed here," Gogic said. "We do have conversations about American sports and American topics. It feels good to talk to someone who’s the same nationality as me!"
Despite moving abroad five years ago, Gogic says he still talks with some of his friends from his time at the academy.
"I keep in touch with Evan Louro, who’s at Michigan and I talk to other players when something good happens to them," Gogic said. "When Derrick Etienne signed, I sent him a message saying congratulations."
Overall, Gogic calls his time in New York’s academy a challenge because he was competing with, "all the best players from New Jersey and New York." Ultimately, he says, "I enjoyed every minute of it."