Martin Petkov: FCV Academy's professionalism impresses
Martin Petkov visited FCV Academy for a week just prior to Christmas and made the decision on his first impression that he just had to have more
The Bulgarian goalkeeper has since joined the 2017 short course, extending his Borderville stay for around five months.
Petkov joins an Academy full of players from all over the world, so he hasn’t been alone in trying to settle into a new environment.
“It’s an interesting set-up because the squad is made up of lads from different countries and cultures,” he explained.
“It’s very interesting talking with them about their way of life and where they have come from - I’ve learnt a lot and it’s helped me to feel happy here. Stamford is a nice place to live but very different to back home. It’s very quiet so it’s good to be able to concentrate on football, it’s what all my effort is going in to.
“I’m really enjoying my time with FCV so far, it’s really helping me to improve my skills and goalkeeping. I really like it and I’m getting on really well with the squad and coaches.”
The Academy tend to train twice per day and play multiple fixtures per week, something Petkov rarely got the chance to do in his homeland.
The professionalism comes about from the attitude of manager Grant Brown and coach Ben Watts who have looked to instill new ways of thinking into the young men who are seeking to improve their skills at Borderville.
“I want to work hard to improve as a person and a goalkeeper,” claimed the Bulgarian.
“The most important thing I noticed was that people here work so professionally and work hard to improve. As soon as I realised that, I knew I had to come for longer.
“It’s a pleasure to be coached by Grant and Ben. I can talk to them a lot about the game and they’re always really helpful. It’s great to play under them, I know my game will improve a lot.
The keeper's arrival at FCV makes for an interesting story, with family friend Nikolay Todorov securing a move to Nottingham Forest and then advising Petkov of opportunities in the area.
The footsteps of Todorov are ones which he dreams of following. After moving to the City Ground, he appeared on loan for Worcester City, Hemel Hempstead and Hearts, before joining the Jambos permanently last summer. He moved to Livingston during the recent January transfer window.
“Nikolay told me about the FCV short course so I decided to try it,” Petkov explained about his decision to move to England.
“My dream is to be a professional in England. I’d rather play here than in Bulgaria. I want to sign as a pro and remain in the UK. I’m only concentrating on football and how to get better.”