Mrčela on Ange’s Radar

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Croatian media reported overnight that Hrvatski Dragovoljac centre back, Tomislav Mrčela is nearing a call up for the Australian national side. Socceroo team manager Gary Moretti was reported to have contacted the 23 year old Perth native following his side’s narrow 2-1 defeat to powerhouse Hajduk Split, in a game which Mrčela grabbed the consolation goal.

“He just said to me to keep up the good work,” Mrčela revealed to Football Central. “And the coaching staff is watching me.”

However, according to the Croatian report, Tomislav added that it was said by Moretti that he “could possibly expect an invitation to the national team.”

Although little is known back in Australia of the towering defender, who is listed at 193cm, Ange Postecoglou and his coaches were put on to him some weeks back. With Rhys Williams injured and Lucas Neill club less the number of quality center backs playing regularly at a high level puts Mrčela in with a fighting chance.

“I read somewhere that the coach said there will be some surprises, so who knows? Anything is possible,” replied Mrčela when asked about a possible call-up for the upcoming Ecuador friendly on the fifth of March.

“I’m hoping for the call-up. It’s a great feeling,” he added. “It would be great for me and especially my career.”

Tomislav did reveal to one Croatian publication that he would accept a call from Croatia but at this stage didn’t see that happening. The thought that if he accepted the call up from Australia that it could end any chance of playing for the red and white checks doesn’t phase him at all.

“I’m OK with that. If I get a call up (from Australia) now, I’m not going to think about it for a second. I will play for Australia,” he declared.

Next week the squad to face Ecuador is to be announced by Ange and as mentioned above there have been talks of some surprises, and this would be one from left field. Hoping to be selected, Mrčela told the Croatian paper that if he were to miss out on selection this time, “I look forward to future opportunities to play for Australia.”

It’s not just the Socceroos radar that Mrčela finds himself on. The defender confirmed that Turkish Süper Lig sides, Gaziantepspor and Rizespor have shown an interest along with some Serie B clubs who have sent scouts to watch him.

FORMER Parramatta FC striker, Adrian Vranic has joined Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb. Little is known about the move as the ex-teammate of Brisbane Roar young gun Devante Clut looks to have been snapped up under the noses of Australia’s A-League clubs.

Sources have claimed the Croatians want to keep the player, who they rate very highly, under wraps and away from the attention of the FFA. Searches for the young striker on Dinamo team sheets at any level have been fruitless, yet it looks as though he has been called up to the Croatian U19s.

Adam Howard

Adam is one of the founders of Football Central and the creator of OSAussies.com.  He has followed the career paths of Australian footballers playing in leagues all over the world.  Born in Adelaide and currently residing in Hiroshima, Adam brings a unique perspective to Australian football.  He is an ardent supporter of Australia's domestic competition and national team.

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