After fearing his career could have been over, Ivan Franjic is eyeing silverware and ready to get back to his best with Melbourne City starting Thursday night at AAMI.
In a huge scare for the 29-year-old right-back early in City’s pre-season, doctors found Franjic had an inflammatory heart condition and unable to do anything strenuous for three months.
But after coming through the other side, the Caltex Socceroos defender has slowly returned to full fitness and on track to start Thursday night’s Hyundai A-League clash against Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park.
“It was frustrating and disappointing and I didn’t know if I was going to play this beautiful game again,” Franjic told the Herald Sun about his health scare.
“I had a virus, I was sick for a week and one night I woke up in the middle of the night, and my chest and heart were hurting and went to hospital and ended up staying there for six days.
“It was frustrating because I came into pre-season in good condition and didn’t expect it. You can’t take anything in life for granted.
“I’ve worked hard to get back and I’ve got a great team behind me, physios and sports science that have got me back into great shape. I’m raring to go.”
Which is fantastic news for the City side and coach John van ‘t Schip.
Franjic will bring plenty of quality and experience to City’s side, as well as a history of success in the Hyundai A-League.
The ambitious full-back won three championships during his time at Brisbane Roar and is hungry to achieve similar success at his new club.
“There’s a lot to look forward to with the A-League and FFA Cup final. We want to win it this year, do the treble,” Franjic declared.
“It’s exciting. It’s aggressive, attacking football and that’s something I’ve been accustomed to in the past and I love it. I’ve been excited watching the boys.”
City will be wearing a special strip adorned with a poppy on the front as part of the Hyundai A-League’s Remembrance Round celebrations.