Victory the perfect platform for Bozanic to shine

Melbourne Victory midfielder Oliver Bozanic came back to Australia with a precise plan and so far it is working out exactly as he wished.

A-League Rd 6 - Sydney v Melbourne

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Part one was to fit into the Victory style of play and start having an impact as soon as possible in a team that is gunning for its second straight A-League championship. He's done that.

Part two is to play a major role in the club's Asian Champions League campaign. He'll certainly do that, barring injury.

And part three is to return to the Socceroo squad after not having been a part of it since the team's opening World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan on 17 June. He was an unused substitute on that occasion.


Bozanic, with his form as a driving force out of the midfield for Victory, could not be advertising himself much better than he is in front of Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou, who formerly coached Victory and still attends many of their games.

"After the last time I played for the Socceroos I was without a club for a couple of months until the deal with Victory was sorted," Bozanic told The World Game. "But now I'm back into regular club football and enjoying it and looking forward to being available for the Socceroos in the future.

"I'm just doing my best out on the field and waiting to see what happens."

After leaving Central Coast Mariners and spending two seasons with FC Luzern in the Swiss Super League, Bozanic studied his options and thought a return to the A-League with the biggest club in the competition was his best choice.

"There were definite options for me to stay in Europe," he said. "I could have stayed at my old club and I had some options in Germany and Italy as well.

"But at the same time Victory were also very interested in signing me and after speaking with 'Muscy' (coach Kevin Muscat) I was convinced to come back.

"I was playing every game at Luzern, but I wanted to progress again to a new club and Victory was very appealing. They were coming off a great season and I wanted to be at a club that was very strong and we're in the Asian Champions League this year.

"The club has got a mass of supporters, every game we play in front of a big crowd. The club is very ambitious and always pushing to be successful and that's how I want my career to go."

The trend is for Australian players to take overseas options ahead of the A-League, but Bozanic never regarded the idea of coming back the other way as a backward step.

"I had no doubt it would be a positive move," he said. "I've seen plenty of players playing in the A-League who have done very well in their Socceroo careers as well and I don't see it as being a negative in any way.

"The A-League is getting stronger and stronger and  I play in front of bigger crowds than what I did in Switzerland, so I'm very happy to be here."

Bozanic, 26, said he would always remain open to another overseas move if the right opportunity came along, but that he wasn't actively seeking one.

"I signed for three years at Victory and I'm just focused on doing well here," he said. "If other opportunities opened up in the future then that would be discussed, but right now I'm concentrating on Victory.

"I want to have a successful season in the A-League and the ACL and I'm looking forward to hopefully being selected in the Socceroos in the future as well."

Bozanic will be a key man again when Victory play Wellington Phoenix at QBE Stadium in Auckland on Saturday night.

"I love the way we play," he said. "We're an attacking team and a pressing team, so we're always on the front foot and always looking to take it to the opposition.

"It really fits in well with how I play. I'm a box-to-box midfielder and I like to work hard and try to make things happen and I get plenty of opportunities to do that."

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4 min read
Published 4 December 2015 at 1:44pm
By Greg Prichard
Source: SBS