Back To The Fu­ture

New Phoenix striker An­drija Kaluderovic has un­fin­ished A-League busi­ness in his new home across the Tas­man.

Australian Four Four Two - - CONTENTS - Words John David­son

Phoenix’s An­drija Kaluderovic

Blink and you missed An­drija Kaluderovic’s four­month stay with Brisbane Roar in 2015. The Ser­bian made just 10 ap­pear­ances for John Aloisi’s team, scor­ing a re­spectable five goals, be­fore he was shipped off at the end of the sea­son. It was a case of what might have been, with the jour­ney­man cen­tre for­ward head­ing for short stints at clubs in Qatar, Lithua­nia and Thai­land. But a lit­tle over two years later and the well-trav­elled 30-year old is back in the A-League with Welling­ton Phoenix as part of Dar­ije Kalezic’s new squad. The ap­peal of an­other new challenge and once more work­ing with as­sis­tant Rado Vi­dosic was strong and Kaluderovic feels he has plenty left to show ri­vals. “Def­i­nitely,” he says. “I left the job un­fin­ished and my friends that know me know I don’t like to leave the job un­fin­ished! I al­ways feel this. “Af­ter Brisbane I said to my­self, if I have pos­si­bil­i­ties at some time in the fu­ture to come back, I will take the op­por­tu­nity. With both hands. Kaluderovic’s ca­reer reads like a Lonely Planet guide­book with the ti­tle of ‘Have foot­ball boots, will travel’. Phoenix are the striker’s 18th club in an odyssey that started way back at OFC Beograd in 2003. Since start­ing off in Bel­grade he has man­aged stops in China, Spain, Cyprus, Switzer­land, Aus­tralia and the Middle East over the past 14 years. The com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor? He has scored goals wher­ever he has played, more than 100 of them in to­tal dur­ing the course of his ca­reer. Along the way he was the Ser­bian Su­perLiga’s top scorer in 2011 and the Lithua­nian A Lyga’s top-scorer in 2016. Kaluderovic’s knack for reg­u­larly find­ing the back of the net was what won him three in­ter­na­tional caps for the Orlovic be­tween 2010 and 2011. Goals are what he is promis­ing to de­liver in the Land of the Long White Cloud. “I bring ex­pe­ri­ence, and I bring goals. I have good fin­ish­ing and I make smart runs. When I have good play­ers around me I can score goals. In train­ing al­ready, I see Gui, I see Mikey, I see Dario, I see Roy. We have good play­ers. My per­sonal goal is the same for ev­ery sea­son, at ev­ery club I play – to score the max­i­mum num­ber of goals I can, what­ever is pos­si­ble, and to make the best re­sult in the his­tory of the club.” Kaluderovic will have his work cut out for him at West­pac Sta­dium. Phoenix fin­ished sev­enth last sea­son and have never reached an A-League Grand Fi­nal. The club has only qual­i­fied for the fi­nals four times in the past decade. But the for­ward is un­fazed by his­tory and be­lieves a new tide is turn­ing in Welling­ton. “I like how the team this year is look­ing – I re­mem­ber play­ing against the cap­tain Du­rante when I was at Brisbane and he was a strong, strong player. “New sign­ings too, they seem good play­ers. We can only try to win ev­ery game, and we will see our re­sults at the end of the year. “I re­ally be­lieve though we can make the best re­sult the club has seen, in the his­tory of the club.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.