Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed the signing of young Aussie striker Tomi Juric, who will be expected to fill the hole left by outgoing Croatian forward Dino Kresinger.
Juric, who played six matches for Adelaide United at the end of the 2012/13 A-League season, has signed a two-year contract with the Wanderers after completing his short-term deal with the South Australian club.
The 22-year-old Australian spent five years in Croatia before signing with Adelaide United and cannot wait to join the reigning A-League premiers, claiming the lure of head coach Tony Popovic and AFC Champions League football convinced him to return to his home town.
“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to come and join the Wanderers,” Juric said in a written statement released by the Wanderers.
“I have the utmost respect for Tony Popovic and everything he has achieved this year.
“For me to now join him and the club as they prepare for the next season is very exciting and will really help me grow as a player.
“To come back to Sydney and play in western Sydney where I grew up is real motivation to work hard and become a better player.
“To also come back into a team that is preparing for both the A-league season and the AFC Champions League is an amazing opportunity for me.”
Popovic is currently in Europe looking for new strikers for the Wanderers’ second season in the A-League.
Kresinger was signed to lead the line for Western Sydney last season but only scored two goals in 25 matches, while Mark Bridge, who generally played on the left wing, top-scored for the A-League’s newest club, hitting the back of the net 11 times in 25 games.
Juric’s goal-scoring ratio at the Reds of two goals in six appearances indicates the 189-centimetre forward can be more successful than Kresinger and Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman has confirmed Western Sydney have high hopes for their new recruit.
“Tom provides added potency to our front line and we are very excited to have him form part of our squad for this coming season,” Gorman said.
“His strength and pace enhances our front third and we look forward to seeing him in action in the red and black hoops.”