Hersi saddened by the passing of 'honourable' Jevtic

Former A-League star Youssouff Hersi has paid tribute to the man he credits with reviving his career - popular player agent Dragan Jevtic, who died of a stroke last Friday at the age of just 37.

Hersi

Hersi spent two successful seasons at Western Sydney Wanderers Source: Getty Images

Melbourne-based Serbian Jevtic, who brought a raft of successful visa signings to the A-League and was admired and respected by all he worked with, persuaded Hersi return to football and sign for Western Sydney Wanderers in 2012 after he was at a career crossroads because a persistent knee injury.

The 33 year-old flier Dutch-Ethiopian – back in Netherlands pondering his next career move - went on to win an A-League Premiers' Plate with the Wanderers before heading to Perth Glory.

Along with fellow and Wanderers veteran Romeo Castelen, Hersi was dismayed to hear of his passing.

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“In my case, I was injured and didn’t know what to do next but he made me believe in myself again and motivated me to make the move to Australia where I had so many great memories,” Hersi said.

“He really pushed me to go and said I would do well. He was the person responsible for putting me on the map again. I owe him a lot.

"He was so genuine and positive that it really convinced me to give Australia a go, and I’m so glad I did.

"Dragan was far more than agent, he was friend to his players and a totally honourable man who always made sure his players was looked after."

Hersi Jevtic


Hersi, who was granted a release by Glory last May, was on the verge of joining Central Coast Mariners in January only for a visa hiccup to scupper the deal.

“He will always be with me, and he’s a big loss to the Australian game and the A-League," Hersi said.

Other than his strong Sydney connections, Jevtic – who also worked with Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak during his time in Turkey – linked his Serbian-based brother Zoran to bring the likes of  Perth Glory's Nebojsa Marinkovic and Newcastle Jets pair Milos Trifunovic and Enver Alivodic to Australia.

The pair specialised in recruiting players who were still in their prime years and looking for fresh challenges.

He also worked with the ex-Sydney FC duo of Ranko Despotovic and Nikola Petkovic, Jets playmaker Leonardo and he had a long association with Smeltz and Danny Vukovic.

The moves of Socceroos striker Tomi Juric and former Perth Glory midfielder Rostyn Griffiths to Roda JC this season were also down to Jevtic.

He had just returned from an overseas trip when he fell ill, and his absence will leave a void in the Australian football landscape.

"He had a great eye for talent and he wasn’t just liked by the players but also the clubs he dealt with respected him and trusted him," Hersi said.

“He made promises and he always kept them. He was always there for you and didn’t want to use just players for money. He built lasting friendships.

“He wanted to have a part to play in developing and strengthening the A-League, and I think he achieved that.”

Highly respected fellow agent John Grimaud, who has Socceroos Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Mitchell Langerak and Jason Geria in his stable, was also deeply saddened by Jevtic’s loss.

“He's a man and agent who will be sorely missed by everybody in the industry,” he said.

“He contributed in a big way to the growth if the A-League.”


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4 min read
Published 23 March 2016 at 11:36am
By Dave Lewis
Source: SBS