Perth Glory Football Club has further boosted its squad with the signing of Serbian international midfielder Milan (ME-lan) “Lola” Smiljanic (SMEEL-yah-nitch), pending a medical.
The 29-year old, who was born in Sweden, comes to Western Australia after a stellar career with Belgrade powerhouse FK Partizan, La Liga side Espanyol and more recently Israeli outfit Maccabi Netnaya.
Smiljanic is the second Serbian player set to wear the Glory jersey, joining compatriot and Perth’s dead-ball specialist Nebo Marinkovic.
The pair played together at FK Partizan, from their junior days and also represented their country at U17 and U-21 level. Smiljanic also earned six caps for Serbia’s senior side scoring one goal.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe said he was thrilled to have a player of Smiljanic's pedigree in his squad.
“He fills the last visa spot and gives us the flexibility and depth we want to fill in that midfield role. You just need to look at the teams he’s played for and the level he's played at," Lowe said.
Smiljanic is expected to arrive in Perth next week, to complete a medical examination before joining his new teammates for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 campaign.
His signing comes on the eve of Perth's first match for the new season, against Brisbane Roar on Wednesday night at Ballymore stadium in Queensland for the RD 32 FFA Cup match.
“We’ve got a very tough game away, Brisbane are a good side, they showed that last year so I’m sure it will be a cracking game” Lowe said.
“They’ve kept the majority of their players, signed a Danish boy (Thomas Kristensen) Jamie (Maclaren) is scoring goals for fun, they’ve got (Thomas) Broich (Matt) Mackay and (Brandon) Borrello. We’ve got to be on our mettle so hopefully we can do what we‘ve done the two previous years.
Lowe said the pre-season campaign was on track and an extensive run, deep into the FFA Cup after making the last two Cup Finals, would help prepare for the season proper.
“We want to get through because it helps prolong our season. We find it difficult over here to get quality games. East coast teams don’t want to come here and we can’t go over there so if we extend that FFA Cup run it helps our pre-season” he said.
Brisbane Roar FC v Perth Glory
Wednesday 10 August 2016
Ballymore Stadium, Herston (QLD)
Kick-off: 5.30pm WST (7:30pm AEST)
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Lindsay
Fourth Official: Rebecca Durcau
Online Broadcast: Streamed online at www.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemand and Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tags #BRIvPER #FFACup
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael Theo (gk), 4.Daniel Bowles, 5.Corey Brown, 7.Thomas Kristensen, 8.Jacob Pepper, 9.Jamie Maclaren, 11.Tommy Oar, 13.Jade North, 17.Matt McKay, 19.Jack Hingert, 21.Jamie Young (gk), 22.Thomas Broich, 23.Dimitri Petratos, 24.Connor O’Toole, 25.Kye Rowles, 26.Nicholas D’Agostino, 28.Brandon Borrello, 30.Nathan Konstandopoulos, 33.Joey Katebian, 35.Cameron Crestani, 37.Mark Rodic, 40.Joey Champness, 42.Jayden Prasad
Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex Grant, 3.Marc Warren, 4.Shane Lowry, 5.Rhys Williams, 6.Dino Djulbic, 8.Rostyn Griffiths, 9.Andy Keogh, 10.Nebojsa Marinkovic, 11.Richard Garcia, 14.Chris Harold, 15.Brandon Wilson, 16.Joseph Mills, 17.Diego Castro, 18.Mitch Oxborrow, 19.Josh Risdon, 20.Aryn Williams, 21.Jamal Reiners, 22.Adam Taggart, 23.Kosta Petratos, 28.Joseph Knowles, 29.Ross Millard, 30.Jordan Thurtell (gk), 33.Liam Reddy (gk), 40.Nick Feely (gk)