Transfer news: Phoenix unveil Croatian midfielder

Wellington Phoenix have gone to Croatia to strengthen their midfield stocks, announcing the signing of the experienced Goran Paracki on Thursday morning.

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GETTING TO KNOW GORAN

*The 30-year-old has made almost 200 appearances in the Croatian top flight.

*He was capped more than 10 times for the Croatian U19 team, coming from a generation which includes Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinić and Napoli’s Ivan Strinjić.

*Paracki will begin training with Phoenix on Thursday, and could make his competitive debut in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 clash against Western Sydney Wanderers.

WHAT CONVINCED HIM TO COME TO NZ

“I’ve played most of my life in Croatia. But Darije called me and told me about his background, his project here at Wellington," Paracki explained.

"My position is important, for the club’s goal to play the finals, and afterwards I thought about [this conversation] more and more.

“My mum, I think she is a little sad, but this is football life – my friends understand this, you never know where you are going to go or where you are going to play. My wife she is very excited, she will come join me here closer to the season beginning.”

Dutchman Darije Kalezic is looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season with new club Wellington Phoenix. Pic Credit: Cameron McIntosh

“My best friend in Croatia has a good friend, Mateo Poljak. He told me everything good about the league, about the quality of life. He spoke very highly of the reputation as well of Rado, so in the end I was very exciting to take this new opportunity.”

KALEZIC PREDICTING BIG THINGS

"He is hard-working, has a good mentality – a mentality that fits very well with the Australian and New Zealand league style. I think in Goran the fans will get a player they will really like," the Phoenix boss said.

“He comes from a very good professional environment, on the ball he’s also a very technical player, which adds a lot of quality in the way that we want to play our football.”

Phoenix 2017/18 Season Squad so far:

Goalkeepers: Lewis Italiano, Oliver Sail

Defenders: Tom Doyle, Marco Rossi, Andrew Durante, Scott Galloway, Dylan Fox, Ryan Lowry, Louis Fenton

Midfielders: Gui Finkler, Michael McGlinchey, Sarpreet Singh, Matt Ridenton, Goran Paracki, Alex Rufer, James McGarry

Forwards: Roy Krishna, Adam Parkhouse, Logan Rogerson, Hamish Watson