Midfield ace ready to take next step

There's purple in the blood at the Jukic family residence and there will definitely be plenty of interested onlookers this weekend as talented young midfielder Andrija Jukic gets set for a possible starting berth for Perth against Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

There's purple in the blood at the Jukic family residence and there will definitely be plenty of interested onlookers this weekend as talented young midfielder Andrija Jukic gets set for a possible starting berth for Perth against Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

After being used off the bench several times in the latter half of the season, a combination of injuries and overseas trials/loans for several Perth stars has left the door open for the Glory Youth League skipper to make his starting debut against the Jets.

And the gifted 22-year-old, whose younger sister Katarina plays for the Glory in the Westfield W-League, believes he's ready to step up to the plate should coach Dave Mitchell call on him.

"I'm pretty excited," said Jukic following training on Friday. "I've come off the bench a couple of times this season, so it'd be great to have a start."

"Gareth Naven, our youth team coach, has pretty much got us all ready to make the step up.

"He's trained us really hard, so I didn't find it too difficult stepping up although I think I could be a bit stronger and will be working on that in the gym and on the training pitch."

Although Mitchell hasn't settled on his starting line-up for Sunday's game, there's a possibility Jukic could be slotting into a midfield role, replacing Dutchman Victor Sikora, who appears likely to start up front alongside club veteran Jamie Harnwell after strikers Eugene Dadi and Nikita Rukavytsya headed to Europe this week.

But Jukic, gifted with a sublime bag of tricks that includes excellent vision and some nimble stepovers, could even be used as a striking option should Harnwell be needed in central defence.

Whatever happens, Jukic is certain to receive some form of advice from his five siblings.

"My whole family loves the game, it's a big soccer family, so we're all having digs at each other," Jukic said.

"My sister who plays at the Glory, we're both the middle ones, and there have been some big battles at home, in the TV room, out the back and everything, its good fun,” he said with a smile.

If the 22 year old can replicate the form that has served him so well throughout the National Youth League and for local club Perth SC then he will definitely be a fixture in more than just one senior match for the Glory.