Kurtišhi eyeing Roar's cup clash

It’s been two months since Albanian striker Mensur Kurtišhi signed a one-year contract with Brisbane Roar and it’s been a busy eight weeks for the Albanian.

Within a fortnight of his new deal, he jetted back to Europe to marry his now-wife Bruna before re-joining his teammates for pre-season in mid-August.

At the Townsville Football Cup, Kurtišhi scored a hat-trick against NPL Queensland side Northern Fury – and he’s now looking forward to his first taste of competitive action for Brisbane Roar, next Tuesday’s Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 match away to Adelaide United.

Mensur, you’ve been in Brisbane a few weeks now. How are you finding the city and the club?

I like everything here – the players, the club, the city. It’s a beautiful city and I’m really enjoying it. For winter, it’s hot and it’s something different. Although, I have also played in Saudi Arabia which was much hotter so it’s not so hard to get used to it.  

Have you enjoyed getting to know the other players and have they been helping you settle in?

The players have been very welcoming. I think I’m building good relationships with the other boys so that makes me happy. If there’s something that’s confusing or I don’t understand, I ask Thomas or Steve [Note: Mensur can speak both German and Croatian] and they can translate for me. It’s good because I don’t always understand everything – sometimes I don’t understand because people here speak very quick! That is sometimes difficult but I am learning.

How does Mike Mulvey compare to other coaches you have played under?

He’s a very good coach. On the field, if you don’t like something or understand something, he will explain to you and he also does that in meetings. He knows exactly what he wants and he wants the player to understand that. As a person, he is very open. You can always speak to him which is different to some other coaches. For example, Mike goes to every player to shake their hand every day and this makes me feel it’s like a family here.  Everyone is close, players, staff, everyone.

You’ve played in a few pre-season matches. Are you looking forward to being part of the squad for your first competitive match [next Tuesday’s FFA Cup match away to Adelaide United]?

Yes, I’m really looking forward to playing in the FFA Cup. I think I’m ready, and if the coach picks me, I’ll do my best. I hope to get a chance to play. I’ve played a few pre-season games and no matter what game you are playing, you have to prepare yourself in the same way. But this game, it’s just one game, knock out game so we all have to give a bit more. We want to win and go to the next round.

Brisbane Roar fly to South Australia next Monday, 22 September ahead of Tuesday’s Round of 16 Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 match against Adelaide United. Kick-off is at 7pm local time at Coopers Stadium. Tickets available at www.theffacup.com.au

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