He played for three different Golden League teams
He became a Federation legend

He now returns home, back to his footballing roots
Raszków for one final adventure…

Jazz Blog spoke to the legendary Fed player, Edi ‘EC10’ Çelaj, not long after he was officially unveiled by the club on Wednesday evening, 28th September.

“Edi… back in Raszków. Everyone was sure you would join the Falcons Hall of Fame. What have the past few days been like for you?”

“A whirlwind, to be sure. I knew Raszków were interested in me for a long time, but they were very fair. They’d made their interest known to our club owner Mr. Horus, but, they backed off. I was needed at the Falcons. It has been a real privilege to represent that team. I’ve loved every minute of it. I owe the fans and the team, the staff, the board all my thanks. I owe them thanks for this opportunity to have one more adventure here in Raszków, to pay back the faith shown in me when nobody else on the transfer market was showing any interest.”

“Raszków, or rather Renaissance FC as they were known back when you signed, and Horus Falcons are not the only big profile names you’ve played for in the HTUM Federation. There’s one other notable name we haven’t mentioned yet. MS Odense.”

“Yes, for sure. That was a massive move for myself, and of course Sami, when we moved to Odense. It was something that took a lot of thinking about. However, it was definitely the right decision back then, for ourselves and the Renaissance. I know there was some fan split about it, but I hope they’ve forgiven me over the years, and I’m back here now to do a job for them.”

“Odense tried to snap you up ahead of the Jazz, that must have been flattering?”

“Negotiations had been ongoing for a while between Falcons and Jazz, and I was aware of this. I think the Odense bids were very flattering yes, I really enjoyed my time there. The club has an amazing set-up, and it was my next step onto a bigger stage. Renaissance had given me the opportunity, Odense gave me the platform, Falcons gave me the chance to continue growing into the player I am today.”

“You could have been giving an interview in an Odense shirt today?”

Edi smiles.

“Odense are  a wonderful club, but I’m where I wanted to be. I have unfinished business here, and I’m not leaving until I’ve done it. I can make this promise to the fans now, that I won’t retire until this Jazz team are the best the Noblemen have ever seen. What happens after that, we’ll see. I have options to return to Prague, perhaps take on a club role. I know the Raszków board have also intimated that if a return to Prague didn’t happen that roles would be made available here too. No doubt, I’d get offers from Denmark also!”

“On a separate note, there has been a lot of speculation even in these few short hours since you signed, about where you will fit in to the Jazz line-up. Has coach Finozzi had a chance to discuss this with you yet?”

“Coach Finozzi was an integral part of the negotiations between the two clubs and myself. I should also mention Mr. Peroni, who flew out especially to Prague, and we met up this past week, to discuss contract terms and I had a final medical in Prague last Thursday. I know there were perhaps some last minute discussions as my price went up, mostly because of the interest from Odense. I know the role Finozzi wants me to play, but to be honest, I’ll play anywhere for this team if it will help. I am a player towards the end of his career now, and I’m here for the fans, not the money. The transfer fee doesn’t bother me. That’s a matter between clubs.”

“Your old sparring partner on the pitch is now a staff member at The Jazz, Sami ‘The Psycho’ Arsal. Have you two had a chance to meet up yet?”

“Are you kidding? He’s a psycho!” Edi laughs, “Yes, of course we’ve met up already. Me and Sami go way back. He will be great to have around and offer advice, and in a coaching capacity too. He’s more relaxed now. He was always much more vocal as a player, much more!”

“Do you have any final messages for the fans?”

“Yes, watch this space.”