Jean-Claude Billong ahead of matchday number 12 (Velenje, Friday at 8:20 p.m.)
Foto: Drago Wernig
The league break will officially come to an end with the match in Velenje. The players used the past two weeks to rest and recharge their batteries. They’re going to need all the energy they can muster for the very busy final stage of the first half of the season. There will be no more breaks until the middle of December.

“We made good use of the break. We worked really hard. We know what’s coming and what we need to do in the coming weeks. But let’s take it one match at a time. First up is the match against Rudar and we will do everything to win,” said Jean-Claude Billong, who’s eagerly anticipating our upcoming challenge. His adaptation process was very quick and as a result, he’s been a regular on the pitch in the first part of the season.

“I feel good here and it shows on the field. I’ve been playing a lot and it helped me get in form. Everybody at the club, including the coach, made the adaptation process very easy and I’m trying to repay their trust every way I can. I’m working hard in training and I’m doing my best in matches.”

After a string of starts in the league and the European debut, he’s returning to Velenje for the first time since his time there as a player. It was his performances in Velenje that earned him the chance to come to Ljudski vrt.

“All I can say about my time at Rudar is that it was a very important and successful period for me. I was happy with my season there, but that’s all in the past. I have nice memories of the place, but my present and future lie with Maribor. I’m trying hard to be completely focused on my tasks at any moment. This match in Velenje will be no different than any other.”

Our French defender also has fond memories of our last away game in the league. Scoring against Aluminij gave him that extra push to continue his successful story in purple.
“As far as offensive tasks go, my biggest contribution to the team is headers during corner kicks. I try to get into a good position and get to the ball before the opponent. I’m happy that I’ve been able to score and I’ll do my best to add to my tally as the season continues. But what pleases me the most is when the team wins. That’s the most important thing. It’s up to us defenders and the keeper to do our best and keep our net intact.”

Rudar vs Maribor. Matchday number 12. Velenje, Friday at 8:20 p.m.