Thursday, December 14, 2017

Franjic: Bring on Bangladesh, Tajikistan

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Jul 2015

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Despite having played only three competitive games this year, Ivan Franjic has declared he will be ready if Australia coach Ange Postecoglou calls on him for World Cup qualifiers in September.

Franjic, who has returned home to play for Melbourne City after a tough season in Russia, has only started pre-season training this month, with the 2015-16 A-League campaign first beginning on October 8.

Australia will face Bangladesh in Perth on September 3 and Tajikistan in Dushanbe five days later, but Franjic is not concerned by the dearth of competitive action between now and then.

“If I get chosen, I’ll be fit enough to be playing,” he told Omnisport.

Franjic completed 90 minutes for Australia in their 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan on June 16 – the first time he had done that since April 8 – as his country kick-started their bid to qualify for Russia 2018.

Due to a raft of injuries in 2014-15, the 27-year-old only played four league games for Torpedo Moscow last term.

Franjic could not ignore the opportunity for regular game-time when City came calling last month.

“That was one of the reasons [for] coming back, I could have stayed in Europe or come back but I wanted to sort my future out before I went into the World Cup qualifiers,” the versatile full-back said.

“So [my goal this season is to play] as many games as possible and win a championship with Melbourne City and keep playing international [matches].”

Franjic broke his contract with Torpedo in April due to unpaid wages but has seemingly put that chapter behind him.

“It was difficult because I was injured 80 per cent of the time there, so the club wasn’t happy that I was getting injured on international duty but that’s football, it’s part of the game, so I’m back now and looking forward to the season ahead,” he said.

Franjic has played 19 matches for Australia and was a key part of Postecoglou’s squad that won the Asian Cup in January.

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