I’ve always barracked for Australia, says bolter Karacic

He might feel more comfortable conversing in Croatian than English, but FIFA World Cup bolter Fran Karacic insists his passion for the Socceroos is deeply entrenched and stretches back many years.

Basking in the glow of his inclusion in Bert van Marwijk’s provisional squad of 32 for Russia, the Zagreb-based 21-year-old right-back is adamant he will “do a really good job” for the nation of his father’s birth should he get the nod ahead of Josh Risdon and Josh Brillante for the Socceroos’ problem position.

The NK Lokomotiva defender has never been to Australia, where his grandfather spent most of his adult life, but he appears to be going places with the national team.

“This is a proud moment for me ... I know they’ve been watching me for a while but you never know exactly when a call will come and when it does it’s very special,” Karacic told The World Game.

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“I’m confident I can do a really good job for Australia in a position I know they want to strengthen for the World Cup.

“I was looked at for the Confederations Cup last year but got injured.



“I just have to go into the camp in Turkey now - if I’m selected for that - and show what I can do and prove to the coaching staff and the other players I belong there.

“I’ve dreamed since I was a boy of playing at a World Cup and hopefully I’m close to achieving that now.”

Though his Australian ties don’t fall into the dinky-di category, Karacic has been following the fortunes of the national team from afar for many years, and as the holder of an Australian passport, often daydreamed of pulling on the green and gold, even though he’s represented Croatia at Under-21 level.

“Of course I’ve grown up in Croatia but I’ve been following Australia for a long time, always hoping they would do well and watching them at World Cups,” he added.

"I’ve not been there yet but would love to one day.

“My dad was born there and I still have relatives there also.

"I feel strongly for the country and I am just grateful for this chance.”

Karacic believes in his ability and has shown his leadership qualities by skippering his club side this season.

“I’ve had a good season in Croatia... I’m developing as a player and maybe I can bring something different in my position for the Socceroos,” he added.



“To work under a coach with such a huge track record as Bert van Marwijk is a big opportunity.

“Everybody knows what he achieved with Holland and why can’t he also do something special with Australia?

“I see no reason with the ability the team has why they can’t qualify from a tough group for the second round in Russia.

“Of course France will be the favourites from the group and it’s a tough match to begin the tournament with, but anything can happen in football.

“Then with Denmark and Peru, these teams are closely matched, I feel, with Australia.”


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3 min read
Published 7 May 2018 at 8:54pm
By Dave Lewis