For Pedj Bojic competition for a place in Sydney FC's backline and the chance to come up against his former side this weekend in the Hyundai A-League are secondary motivators to the challenge he's had with himself.
Having spent most of the last 12 months recovering from back surgery which curtailed his first season in Sky Blue, Bojic has endured an intensive rehabilitation program just to return to peak fitness.
Now that the 30-year-old has won his injury battle and suspensions paved the way for back-to-back appearances last week he's determined to retain his place in Sydney's strongest XI.
“It's been great to get a good pre-season under me and I've done a lot of work to get back,” Bojic told www.a-league.com.au
“It all started last pre-season with a 24cm calf tear and then I wasn't fully fit when I was playing not knowing the back was the problem.
“I was having problems with it (my back) during the season but didn't realise the extent then it just seized up.
“Definitely Sydney fans haven't seen the best of me but hopefully if I can stay injury free that will change this year.”
While much of commentary on Sunday's clash between the Sky Blues and Mariners has focused on Arnie and Moss facing off for the first-time and recently capped Socceroo Bernie Ibini coming up against his former club, Bojic is another from the Mariners' stable still with a point to prove.
Central Coast had Sydney FC's measure last season, claiming all three encounters between the two sides.
Bojic played a part in two of those fixtures but is adamant the Sky Blues won't need any added motivation to perform in their round four clash at Allianz Stadium.
“We've not talked about it, we're just treating the match as a normal game,” said Bojic.
“Obviously the three of us were there so it's only natural there'll be a bit of extra rivalry but I'm different in that I've already been here for a year so I've considered myself a Sydney player for a while now.
“I'll enjoy the challenge of going up against my opposite Josh Rose but I think young Caceras and Trifiro are two players we'll really have to look out for.”
Asked what it's been like to be reunited with his former mentor, who handed him his A-League debut back in 2008, Bojic seems to be relishing the chance to prove himself all over again.
“In many ways the set up has been very similar to what I was use to at the Mariners which has been good," he said.
"Arnie has changed a lot of things this season but people have bought into his philosophy.
“It's only been three rounds so we've a long way to go but players know they're accountable for their job if they want to keep their place on the pitch.
“Competition is a great thing - you need it everywhere. Personally my competition was with myself to get fit which I did now it's about proving your worth.”
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