Fran Karačić’s professional career is just getting started but he is already serving as a good example to other young aspiring footballers as to what to do when a senior chance comes your way.
“I started to play last season when the first choice right back got injured,” the NK Lokomotiva defender told Football Central.
“I took my chance and became the first option for that position. This season I’ve started well and scored two goals in three starts in defence.”
The now 20 year old was 19 at the time he was given his shot in the first team and he finished last season with nine starts from ten league games. This season he has gotten a taste of European action in the Europa League qualifiers when he lined up against Andorra’s UE Santa Coloma which they won 4-1. Unfortunately Lokomotiva were eventually knocked out by Belgium’s Genk 4-2 on aggregate in the playoff round of qualifiers.
The league season couldn’t have started better for the right back who has scored two headed goals from corners against Slaven Belupo which proved to be the winner in 3-2 scoreline, and a goal against Osijek in a 2-3 loss.
At 185cm and good in the air, the player says his “true positions” are right back and right midfield. He admires Real Madrid’s Marcelo who he considers “the best fullback in the world” and likes that he “can also play other positions.”
A friend of Newcastle Jets’ Ivan Vujica and former teammate of Tomi Mrčela – who is now playing in South Korea with Jeonnam Dragons – the young player has recently become eligible to play for Australia after receiving his Australian passport. Although he hasn’t been to Australia it is the country of his father’s birth and where his grandfather spent most of his adult life. He still has distant relatives there.
“He (his father) returned to Croatia in 1967 from Sydney when he was three years old because my grandmother wanted to return to her homeland,” Karcačić explained.
“So my father with his brother and sister returned to Croatia with her while my grandfather stayed to work until 2004.”
While he has green and gold ambitions, he turned 20 three months ago which rules him out of Australia’s youth sides but the door is still open for a Croatian call-up at youth level.
“They’ve (HNS) been in touch but I haven’t received a call-up for the national team.
“I still have time to play for the under 21s because I turned 20 only three months ago.”
His footballing ambition is to have a long playing career and eventually go abroad to play at the highest level.
“I think I can play in the top five leagues in the world,” declares Karačić who points out his preferences are either England or Spain.
“England have a lot of teams in Europe and I like the way they play in Spain.”
Karačić played another full game overnight for Lokomotiva in their 4-0 win over Cibalia Vincovci in the Prva Liga which you can see in our OS Aussies Friday wrap along with the exploits of other Aussies abroad.