Kilmarnock: Jan Koprivec relishes battle with two experienced goalkeepers

Jan Koprivec
Jan Koprivec lost his place under Steven Pressley at Pafos

Jan Koprivec is relishing the battle with Laurentiu Branescu for starts as fellow Kilmarnock goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald joins Alloa Athletic on loan.

The 31-year-old, who left Cypriot top-flight club Pafos this summer, has signed a one-year contract in Ayrshire.

Koprivec has not played since a 4-0 defeat by Apollon Limassol in the Cypriot Cup in April 2018.

"I like the competition," Koprivec, who started with Cagliari and had spells with Udinese and Parugia, said.

"I think we're a very good group of goalkeepers and competition is a good thing for everybody to do their best."

The 26-year-old Branescu has taken over as number one from 33-year-old former Scotland squad goalkeeper MacDonald under manager Angelo Alessio since joining on loan from Juventus.

Koprivec hopes he is in the running to make his debut at home to Hibernian on Saturday but has experience of having to bide his time.

Since making his debut for Slovenia against Poland in 2016, he has yet to win a second cap and has not been involved in the squad since sitting on the bench against Montenegro in June 2018.

He lost his place at Pafos near the end of Steven Pressley's first season as manager and spent last season without a competitive game.

"It's always good to be involved in international games," Koprivec said. "I think I'm still a good age for a goalkeeper and I would never say no to the national team.

"I always had good goalkeepers ahead of me, but to be part of it is a great pleasure. To be the reserve goalkeeper to Jan Oblak and Samir Handanovic, you can be proud of it. I learned from them."

Koprivec, who was a team-mate of Kilmarnock coach Massimo Donati while on loan to Bari, revealed that Slovenia defender Andraz Struna, who had a spell at Hearts, and Queen of the South midfielder Kevin Holt, who also left Pafos this summer, helped persuade him to move to Scottish football.

"Massimo called me two weeks ago and, after that, I spoke to some of my friends and they told me very good things about Scottish football and also about the club," he added. "It's a club that's growing and I like this.

"From my first few days here, everything has been confirmed and I like it."

Koprivec's arrival has been followed by MacDonald's departure to Alloa on an emergency loan.

The Championship club's first choice, Neil Parry suffered an injury last weekend against Dunfermline Athletic, leaving 20-year-old Chris Henry as their next option.

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport