Serbian player Vladimir Milutinovic has been handed an opportunity to develop his career in the UK, but needs funds to make it happen.
The 17-year-old, who currently plays for Partizan Belgrade in his homeland, now has a chance to come to England as part of the Global Rugby League Academy programme.
“I play my club rugby league here in Serbia for Partizan Belgrade but it is my dream to move to England to play the sport,” Milutinovic explains.
“In Serbia I can only achieve a limited level due to the fact that rugby league is a developing sport here – coaching and playing standards aren’t as high as in countries such as England and Australia.
“By going to England if gives me a chance to progress and develop by playing rugby league regularly. I have been attempting to come to England for three years now and have never been offered an opportunity.
“Now I have been given a chance with the I need your help to make my dreams come true.
“I am hoping to join the Global Rugby League Academy programme which is aimed at providing a rugby league and education pathway for emerging rugby league playing nations.
“On this programme I will spend 12 months in England, playing for a local club and for a college (where I will study a sports qualification).
“Global Rugby League Academy will also help me to get trials and training opportunities with professional clubs. They will also put me on coaching and refereeing qualifications.”
The issue is funds, however, with the youngster needing at least £8000 to get onto the programme.
This breaks down as follows:
Education costs – £2,500 (BTEC Diploma in Sport); Global Rugby League Academy costs – £600 (£50 per month); accommodation costs – £2,000 per year; living costs (food, electricity, gas, water, travel etc) – £3,000+.
Milutinovic has set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise £6000 towards the costs. The average salary in Serbia is around 200 Euros a month.
People can donate to the cause here: https://www.gofundme.com/vladimir-from-serbia-to-england