Melbourne City fans will have to wait to see Ivan Franjic make his debut but the Australia international reckons they can replace cross-town rivals Victory as A-League champions.
Franjic signed a three-year deal with City last month but the 27-year-old has only recently begun pre-season training with John van ‘t Schip’s squad, and he does not expect to play for his new club for “a couple of weeks”.
But with the versatile full-back joining the likes of fellow Socceroo Michael Zullo, Australia youth international Corey Gameiro and former Newcastle United defender Aaron Hughes in signing for City, Franjic is convinced the Melbourne-based club can win the title in 2015-16.
Last season, City reached the A-League semi-finals before losing to eventual champions Melbourne Victory 3-0 in a derby clash.
“Yeah, obviously we’re looking strong, there’s a couple more foreigners to come in but yeah, we’ll be a good chance to win it [the A-League championship] and we’re prepared to go all the way this year,” Franjic told Omnisport on Wednesday.
Franjic has not played since Australia’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win away to Kyrgyzstan on June 16.
But having been given some extra time off following that international duty, the three-time A-League champion with Brisbane Roar does not expect to play in City’s FFA Cup round of 32 tie away to Edgeworth on August 4.
“It’ll be the coaches’ decision. I’ll be ready but it’ll be up to them,” he said.
Back living in his home town of Melbourne for the first time in six years, Franjic attended Hume City’s 4-3 extra-time victory over Brisbane Strikers in the FFA Cup – his brother Joey plays for the victors, although he was not in action on Wednesday.
Franjic was clearly impressed by the entertainment on offer at ABD Stadium.
“I don’t think I’ll be playing the first game but it’s an exciting tournament,” he said.
“I watched it last year from Russia, so I can’t wait and hopefully the boys win next week – which I believe they will – and see who we get in the next draw; hopefully Hume.”
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