Mate Dugandzic is ready to step straight back in to the Melbourne Heart side for Sunday's clash with Wellington Phoenix in Morwell, with the Qantas Australian Under 23 representative saying he feels fresh despite spending two weeks with the national team.
Mate Dugandzic is ready to step straight back in to the Melbourne Heart side for Sunday's clash with Wellington Phoenix in Morwell, with the Australian Under 23 representative saying he feels surprisingly fresh having spent the past two weeks with the national team on their quest for Olympic qualification.
While Australia's hopes of making the London games hang by a thread after three consecutive draws to start the qualification campaign, Dugandzic is feeling extremely positive about his return to the Hyundai A-League having had a good start to the season.
"I've just arrived back from Sydney but I'm feeling as I usually do after any game on the weekend. I'm hopeful I will be able to recover well," he said.
"It's a bit of a different experience travelling from Doha straight to Sydney and then playing four or five days later."
Dugandzic feels his previous experience with travelling and playing has helped him adjust better on return.
"When you get a bit older, you know your body a bit more and the more you do it, the better you get, we'll cope fine," he said.
The versatile attacker watched on from national camp as Heart defeated Gold Coast and then lost to Central Coast on the road in recent weeks and he feels the team is in good form.
"I watched a live stream of the game from the Gold Coast from Doha and I thought the boys played really well," he said.
"I watched the highlights of the Central Coast game and it looked like we were a bit unlucky with a couple of refereeing decisions."
Dugandzic credits the move across town to Heart as key to his revival in form this season and feels there is better to come.
"I'm really content with where I am at the moment. I am really enjoying my football and I've got no other plans and to play here for Melbourne Heart."
While Sunday's match is the club's first trip to play an A-League game in regional Victoria, the trip down the Princes Freeway to the Latrobe Valley holds no concerns for Dugandzic and his teammates.
"We played a pre-season down there against Newcastle and there was a rather large crowd there supporting us. Hopefully we can get the same this time," he said.
The match will be the first national league game played in the Latrobe Valley since the demise of the Gippsland Falcons in 2001.