Juric eyes new Roda deal while other Aussies face exit

Australia striker Tomi Juric is in discussions over his extending his stay with Eredivisie battlers Roda JC for another season after fighting his way back into first team contention from a knee injury.

PSV Eindhoven Roda JC

Source: AAP



Out since January, the 24 year-old former Western Sydney Wanderers marksman has done enough this season with seven goals in 14 appearances in all competitions to convince Croatian coach Darije Kalezic to renew his contract.

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But Kalezic confirmed that combative midfielder Rostyn Griffiths, a mainstay in his starting team for the first half of the campaign, will be moving on at season’s end.

He has also revealed that Australian Under-23 playmaker Daniel De Silva, who is on a two-season loan from Perth Glory via Roma, will not be guaranteed first team football next season and may want to explore his options elsewhere to find the game time he desires.

Though Juric has fallen behind January signings Rydell Poepon and Mike van Duinen in the pecking order, Kalezic remains a fan of the Australia international.

“We are discussing him staying for next season and we should know what will be happening soon," he said. “Tomi has an option to re-sign his contract and I want him to remain here because we shouldn’t forget that when he signed for us, he arrived at the club having hardly played or trained for nearly five months.

"He has trained alone, other than maybe one camp with the Australian national team. That was a big problem for him because he came into a Dutch league that's more intensive and quicker than then A-League.

"I signed two new strikers in January and they have played since. I have built team around them because I can’t build around Tomi because he was injured.

“Now, the last few weeks he’s been fit and in the squad. He’s back and it’s good for him, and he's a good player for us but only a good player for us when he's fit.

“The two new boys are playing well, and at this moment I have no reason to change that position for Tomi. But it's not bad for him to be in training process 100 per cent."

Kalezić  has been frustrated by Juric’s injury issues but wants to give him the chance to blossom in the Netherlands.

"From the beginning of the season, we haven’t had him for more than six weeks at any one time in training because there as always been something like a small injury to force him to take a break," he said.

Griffiths, who has made 20 appearances, also suffered an injury setback in January with Kalezic bringing in midfield reinforcements and he’s not been regular starter since.

“I have a good relationship with Rostyn and Tomi and they both understand very well the situation and it’s very nice to work with them.

“Rostyn will leave at the end of the season. We are satisfied with our new midfielders and they have signed longer deals than Rostyn, so better for him to move. He will go somewhere where he can be a very important player.”

The season is already over for De Silva, who has made 11 appearances but only one start, as he seeks to recover from knee cyst which has taken him to London for specialist treatment.

“Daniel, from the winter break, he’s been injured … now he has cyst under his knee and before that he had a breathing problem. There’s always been something,” Kalezic said.

“He has two years with us and at his age it’s important that he plays next season but the situation with him now doesn’t give me a good feeling for next year.

“As a person he's a good guy and an intelligent guy and how he did in the training, I am satisfied. He is somebody who really likes to work and to invest in himself to develop himself.

“I have no problem to work with him next season but I think he and his management has to think not one time but twice about his future next season.

"I think it’s very important for him to play the games and I cannot guarantee that he will next season. Right now he is not at the same level as some other players and doesn’t have the pole position with us.”

Kalezic also paid tribute to Australian player agent Dragan Jevtic, who brought a plethora of European talent to the A-League and was also responsible for the deals which took Juric and Griffiths to Roda,

Jevtic died of a stroke earlier this month aged just 37, with Kalezic saying: “He was unbelievable good agent who was one of the best in Australia and made dreams come true for Australian players like Juric and Griffiths.

“Not just me, but Australian has lost a huge football man and an important guy for the Australian game. For me it’s a big loss because he was also a great man.”


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5 min read
Published 26 March 2016 at 12:39am
By David Lewis