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First Team News

Milutin Osmajic On First Year In Preston And Learning English

9 May 2024

First Team News

Milutin Osmajic On First Year In Preston And Learning English

9 May 2024

“Sólo Premier League,” said Milutin Osmajić back in September, on his first day as a Preston North End player.

It may not have been the easiest interview to do – translating from English to Spanish, and vice versa – but there was no confusion about what his ambitions were for his first season in Lancashire.

His desire to reach England’s elite will have to wait at least another year, but the Montenegrin is confident in his teammates’ ability to go again next season.

Now speaking more confidently in English, Milutin said: “When I came here, I spoke with Peter [Ridsdale] and I said I want to play in the Premier League with this team.

“Now we have just missed it, but with this team and these players, I think next season Premier League 100% [is achievable] because this club is very good and the players are very good.”

If he was to get there, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s shared the stage with Europe’s best.

In his career to date, he’s faced some top outfits, such as Barcelona, Porto, and the Netherlands – a pretty impressive list.


It hasn’t all been top level stuff for Milly – as he was christened on his first day at Euxton – having been brought up playing on poor pitches in Montenegro, before being blown away by the difference once he arrived at Cádiz in 2021.

He remembered: “I saw training, the pitches, everything, and thought, ‘What is this?’

“I couldn’t believe it. In pre-season, I played five games and scored seven goals so it was a good start.

“Then my first start was against Valencia and I played well for an hour. My first big game then was Real Madrid, playing Luka Modrić, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos. Crazy.

“Barcelona I played against Ronald Araújo,” he laughed and shook his head. “That was not easy. He is a strong guy!”

However, playing time wasn’t always on the cards for Milly, with the experienced Alvaro Negredo often the one to keep him on the bench.

So a couple of loan moves came about, firstly to Bandırmaspor in Turkey – where he scored seven goals in ten matches – and then Vizela in Portugal.

Speaking of his time with the latter, he said: “It is only a small club but I was playing against teams like Benfica, Sporting, and Porto. To play against these clubs was good.

“My first goal was against Benfica and I got the ball in the middle of the pitch.

“On my right side was Nicolás Otamendi and I just kept running and scored with my left foot. I don’t know where he was after but he wasn’t catching me,” laughed Milly.

After his spell in Portugal, the striker returned to parent club Cádiz, but with the idea that it was time to make the move to England.


It’s the fast nature of the game and the fact that “football is everything” that interests him, and when he heard of the offer from PNE, it was a relatively easy decision to make.

He explained: “I was very happy because this is a big club and I wanted to play here.

“At the start, I hadn’t played for five months so when I played my first game it was too hard for me – too much running!

“But then second game, I scored a goal, and it’s good now because I’ve been here seven months and I understand more now.

“Felipe [Rodriguez-Gentile] was my translator in the beginning but now I can speak with everybody.

“My English is much better. I understand, not everything, but it’s better.”

Not a fan of school or going to classes, Milly’s been learning the language by watching Netflix with English audio – sometimes slowed down – as well as subtitles to follow along with.

With his footballing journey taking him to a number of different countries, it’s not the first time he’s had to learn a new language, and there was already some familiarity from having learned bits of the language back home in Montenegro.

It was there that he first got into the game at the age of six, which is actually quite late for a professional footballer.

It wasn’t even until 15 that he moved on from just playing for his local side in an attempt to make the sport his life.

Telling the story of how he found football, Milly said: “I was outside my home and I saw my friends with a ball. I asked where they were going, they said training, and I wanted the same.

“I wanted to play football. I went home and asked my father, ‘Can I play football?’ and he said, ‘Why not?’ and that was it.

“Every day, I slept with a football. Every day training, training, training.

“When I was young, every game I scored three or four goals. I was very fast, strong, and I think in 20 games I scored 45 goals.

“It is maybe not as many as that now but I love scoring goals and I want more for Preston.”

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