NEW CASTLE —
That’s American football in Serbian.
Perhaps it’s the first words Jordon Rooney should memorize before joining his new football team, the Forestlanders, in Mladenovac, Serbia.
Rooney is in pursuit of his dream — furthering his career on the gridiron. It’s been a long road for the former Union High and Westminster College player, one filled with personal determination, dedication and adversity. And now, its one that’s taking the 23-year-old overseas.
“I was online and there’s a website called Europlayers.com where you can send out your film to every team that’s in Europe,” Rooney said. “I sent out my film and about 100 messages to different teams. I heard back from a team in Poland, a team in Finland and the team in Serbia. I was most comfortable with them.”
Intrigued by the small European country, Rooney was eager to learn more.
“I didn’t know anything about it. I messaged the coaches and they said they liked my film and they liked everything I had to offer. We started to Skype. I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “The good thing about it is they do speak English as well as Serbian. The coaches, Zeljko Sreckovic and Sasa Petrovic, are really honest and they like me a lot. So, it’s a good opportunity. They’re going to give me a small, decent salary. Serbia is a very poor country. Its economy is really bad, but they’re going to give me a salary, a really nice apartment, they’re going to pay for that, all my meals, Internet, cable, transportation and insurance.
“I started to do some research from the stuff they told me. They said that they don’t have things like violent crimes and they’re very hard-working people. For instance, my head coach owns a landscaping business and the other one owns a garage.”
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