Tomislav Coskovic: A career across Europe reaches India

The U Mumba Volley attacker recounted his early days in war-torn Yugoslavia and his long career that's seen him play in Italy, Austria, France, Greece, Russia and Turkey. 

U Mumba Volley player Tomislav Coskovic has played in different leagues across Europe.

In a formal attire, the bespectacled Tomislav Coskovic could easily be mistaken for a businessman or a professor. That he's a volleyball star with worldly experience is not apparent.

In a chat with Sportstar, the U Mumba Volley attacker recounted his early days in war-torn Yugoslavia and his long career that's seen him play in Italy, Austria, France, Greece, Russia and Turkey. 

Coskovic started playing when he was eleven, after his school coach suggested he play the sport because of his height (1.99m). "Erratic power supply, grenades, shooting, and irregular and improper schooling" is how he likes to put the "difficult times" he had to experience because of the Yugoslav war then.

The club he started playing for, was in a "small village" bordering Croatia. "I didn't play but was part of that club team that went to play a few times in the Croatian volleyball league." He then moved alone to Croatia as a 16-year-old for his volleyball. From there, he's journeyed to the other countries.

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"When I went to Istanbul (Turkey), there was financial crisis in Europe. But the club I first went to there was financially stable. The country has the same kind of people as Croatia. I was really happy that I was there for for ten years, that too in one city. It feels like home," he says.

But he says that he would "probably say France" if anyone asks him to pick a country for him to live in for a long time. "I like the people and their lifestyle. They mostly have a don't-care, easy-going attitude. Defence is a highlight feature of French Volleyball, I would say."

"I was in Innsbruck in Austria in winter time. That place is good for skiing, though I didn't ski for risk of injury," he says.

He's been in Greece for a year, playing for Olympiacos CFP. "There's a fierce, celebrated rivalry between Olympiacos and another club. A player won't fancy going out after a match between the two clubs. Such will be kind of tension outside. It's amazing fun, though."

His stint in Russia, though, was a towering task. "I found it so hard to play there. They are really good players. Everybody is tall! Even taller than me! It was a great experience. Learnt so much there. I would say my game got much better after Russia."