by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips
Born in Edmonton, Antonio Krajancic relocated at a young age with his family to the Croatian island of Korcula located in the Adriatic Sea.
It was here on this beautiful island, that Krajancic spent his youth in the picturesque village of Zavalatica.
"I was there from Grade 3 to Grade 10," reminisces Krajancic, 19, a second year student/athlete with The Kings University Eagles men's soccer team. "Our village was really small...about 400 people. Everyone knows you. It was kind of nice because you always saw everyone on the street all the time.
"Because we were on a island, we ate a lot of seafood. You would catch it and eat it the same day. Fish, octopus and squid. There was no fast food. No McDonalds or anything like that. Growing up we also would have a glass of wine with meals. I was pretty young...probably 12 when I had (Posip, a white wine grown in the region).
"That is where I learned my soccer. I miss being able to play soccer year round. Where I am from, on the island it never snowed. Growing up you could go anytime and there would always be people there on field ready to play.
"It was hard to leave Croatia. I was leaving stuff I knew and I had to start over again."
Attending Edmonton's Holy Trinity Catholic School for Grade 11-12, the sport of soccer came to his rescue.
"The first semester at school was hard. The school had more people than my whole town that I grew up in. It was hard even finding my classes. Back in Croatia there were basically four rooms to go to. At (Holy Trinity Catholic School) I was lost for the first few days getting around.
"It was better the second semester as I now had a chance to play soccer and started to make friends."
Krajancic was named Defensive Player of the Year in Grade 11 while in Grade 12, serving as team captain, he was honoured with the Leadership Award.
Enrolling at Kings last year (Arts), the 5-foot-10 midfielder, said, "It was a pretty good year. There was a good group of veterans that helped me adjust right away."
The Eagles finished with a record of three wins, five losses and two ties with 17 goals for and 22 goals against.
Krajancic recorded one goal and two assists while appearing in 10 games.
This season (2018-2019) the Eagles have upped their game with a record of three wins and three ties with 11 goals for and only four goals against.
Krajancic has two goals under cleat in four appearances.
"This year we are doing much better and we are on track to make provincials and that is our goal and to get a medal at the end of year. I believe we are storing enough and have older guys who are hungry enough."
Fluent in Croatian and English, Krajancic said there is a large Croatian community in Edmonton and that he also plays club soccer with various Croatian teams, "where I get to talk Croatian and we have the culture here in Edmonton ...so it is not completely gone."