TOWERING defender Ante Rozic has become Miron Bleiberg’s latest signing and arrived on the Gold Coast today to meet his new teammates for the first time.
TOWERING defender Ante Rozic has become Miron Bleiberg-s latest signing and arrived on the Gold Coast today to meet his new teammates for the first time.
The United Head Coach bolstered his defensive stocks for the upcoming season by plucking the 25-year-old, 190cm centre-back from top division Polish outfit, Arka Gdynia.
The son of NSL legend and former Yugoslavia international Vedran Rozic, Bankstown-born Ante holds an Australian passport so will not occupy one of United-s five permitted visa places on the senior roster. His move to United will see him play professionally on Australian soil for the first time after he returned to Europe with his family as a youngster.
Rozic then spent his formative football years with Croatian club Hadjuk Split, but was on loan to a string of clubs before securing moves to HNK Trogir and French Second Division side CS Sedan Ardennes, prior to his shift to Poland.
For Gold Coast Head Coach Miron Bleiberg, the signing of Rozic brings to an end a long search for a dominant centre-half to fill the shoes of the departed Dino Djulbic.
“For some time now we have been patiently looking for a replacement for Dino Djulbic and of course the idea was to find someone who was similar to Dino,” said a delighted Bleiberg.
“Ante is tall, dominant in the air, a good footballer on the ground and has an excellent pedigree. When he became available we moved quickly because he has everything we were looking for and we-re very pleased to have signed him.
“I-m happy that the deal was concluded very smoothly and credit must go to his agent Bernie Mandic who was very helpful through the whole process.
“To find a good centre-back is difficult enough, but to find one who has an Australian passport is even more difficult at this time of year. We-re looking forward to working with Ante and he will bring a lot to the heart of our defence,” he added.
Rozic will train for the first time with United on Tuesday and may even see some game time the following Saturday when Gold Coast take on the New Caledonian national team in the second match of the two-game series held at Merrimac Soccer Club.