Mrčela to be the Socceroos biggest fan

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Tomislav Mrcela’s meteoric rise this season with club side NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac has seen him receive plaudits in Croatian media as well as a phone call from former Socceroos team Manager, Gary Moretti, recognising his domestic form.

The 23-year-old central defender’s found himself with interest from Croatian, Italian and Turkish sides in recent months with a move looking more possible after the relegation of club side NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac to the second tier of Croatian football.

When asked about which countries football style would suit him best, Mrcela repiled: “Italy is definitely a country were I would love to play in the future. They play the type of football that fits me.”

As he plans his holidays football free, in the distance he prepares for “ the new season waiting for the offer to arrive and start training with [his] new club,” the NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac central defender said.

A disappointing end to the season with the team falling just short of staying up. Where do you think it went wrong for the team?

Certainly first thing was the inexperience of playing in the first division in Croatian football. One of the main reasons was also late selection of the team.We had some important players that came to the team at the halfway point of the season, and managed to play really well in the second half of the season, but unfortunately we fell two points short.

On a personal note, you had quite a good season. How do you look back on this season individually?

I had a great season with 27 appearances, more than I could imagine at the start of the season. I improved my game in every point and I can say now that I am a much better player than I was a year ago.

With your club going down and you having such a good season it is unlikely you’ll be going down too. What is the plan next season? Has there been any contact from other clubs?

Well I am looking for a transfer to another country. There’s been some contact from Italy and Turkey and I should know more about it in the following weeks. There’s also some clubs in Croatia that are interested. We’ll see what happens.

Can you tell us about the time you were 19 and offered to Gold Coast United in Australia?

Well, I was playing third division in Croatia at that time. I had an offer by a manager to move to Gold Coast United and I went for it. It was a good experience. I think I played and trained well but at the time the manager was Miron Bleiberg and he decided to opt for different options and left me without a contract. But it was a nice time for me at Gold Coast and after that episode my career started to grow.

The Australian preliminary World Cup squad was announced the other day. What did you think of the team? Did you have any further contact with the management of the Socceroos?

Well I think we have a good mix of young and experience players.It’s a hard group, probably the worst group for us. It’s a big handicap being without two important players such as Robbie Kruse and Rhys Williams, but I am sure the lads will give 110% in every game and that this will be good preparation for the Asian Cup.

How disappointed were you to miss your chance?

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed but after sleep I realized that it’s a big thing even having a chance of going to the World Cup. My time will come and I am 100% sure about it. I wish the team good luck and I’ll watch every single game on TV and be their biggest fan.

Is making the Asian Cup squad in 2015 now your goal?

For sure one of my main goals is to impress manager Ange Postecoglou in the new season and put myself in the team for the Asian Cup.

What do you feel you could offer the Socceroos as far as the type of player you are?

Let’s wait until that call-up and then we’ll see what I can offer the Socceroos. I hope the call will come soon and I can only promise that I will give my very best for the Socceroos in every game and every training session.

Adam Howard

Adam is one of the founders of Football Central and the creator of  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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