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Croatia

Milicevic making an instant impact

Having only recently arrived in Split, Ljubo Milicevic is already a fan favourite at Hajduk. He even wore the captains armband in a friendly match which is nothing new to Milicevic who has captained almost every club he has played for.

“We are working hard every day. Even though we are exhausted, I love all this and I’m satisfied with how things are going at the moment.” Milicevic said.

Milicevic is overwhelmed at home well recieved he’s been by the club and fans which are already cheering his name. The defender is set to be one of the rocks in the clubs title challenge and European adventure this season. He is also one of the more experienced players in a squad full of talented youngsters.

Another Aussie born Croat Josip Simunic is linked with a move to the club and Ljubo would love to see him wear the ‘White’ of Hajduk and battle alongside Joe in the Croatian League.

“If he came that would be SUPER! Joe is a world class player, he’s gone through a lot in his career in the clubs he’s played for and been very successful. It would be an honour if I could play alongside Simunic, I think I would learn a lot more from a world class player like him.” Milicevic said.

Milicevic will also have the privilege of playing against European Champions Barcelona in a pre season friendly at Hajduk’s Poljud Stadium on the 23rd of July if his injury heals by then (doctors report suggest he will be out for at least 2 more weeks). It will be one of the biggest matches in recent years for Hajduk and something to treat their suffering fans that have not seen a League Title in the last five years. It’s also a long way from playing against the likes of North Queensland, Wellington Phoenix and co. Not rated inAustralia but well respected inEurope.

There has been a great deal of Aussie Croats which have been major stars of the Croatian League. The first was Eddie Krncevic who won the Yugoslav League and Cup with Dinamo in 1982. Mark Viduka was one of the best strikers in the league when he also wore the blue colours of Dinamo in the 90s. Josip Skoko was a vital part of the Hajduk team in the 90s and the last ten years. He wore the captains armband in his last season at the club.

Hajduk has also made some interesting signings this season with the acquisition of former Liverpool youngster Nikola Saric. The 20 year old has been touted as the next Ibrahimovic. He is a Danish Youth International but has the opportunity to play for either Bosnia,Serbia,Croatia and of course Denmark. There is a long way to go before he can choose  what country he will play International football for but with some good performances In the Hajduk shirt that wont be long away. His strike partner is Montenegrin International and former Buducnost Podgorica Captain Ivan Vukovic another great signing for the ‘Whites’ He is their biggest signing to date costing the club 700,000 euros and has already made an immediate impact with a few goals in friendly matches.

The Croatian League kicks off on Junly 23rd with Hajduk playing their match four days earlier because of the much anticipated friendly against European Champions Barcelona.

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