Srecko Mitrovic and his family came to Australia from the former Yugoslavia when he was 10-years-old. Upon arriving in Sydney, the youngster already had a love for the world game which he was able to continue when he joined Bonnyrigg White Eagles. From the White Eagles he would go on to join the famous Marconi Stallions at 14 years of age and it was there where he would stay until he was discovered by Italian scouts.
“In 2001, Serie A club Piacenza Calcio scouts spotted me in a State Grand Final. Not long after that Piacenza bought me from Marconi on a 5-year-deal,” the midfielder said.
Although a fantastic opportunity for the then teenager, it was a learning experience for a young man on his own for the first time. However it was an experience he relished.
“Italy was a was a great experience. I was very young when I went there so I needed to fight for everything alone.
“I could have done much better if I had the right people around me. It helped me grow as a footballer and as a person. I have worked with some very good coaches and trained with great players.”
Why the move to Romania after seeing first team action for Ascoli?
In my last year at Ascoli the new coach came and didn’t care much about the young players, so I wanted to go on loan to a club in Serie C1. Not long after that I injured my knee (PCL) and needed some time to recover. I was in Australia at the time when I got an offer from a first division club in Romania.I signed there for 3 years. First year was great but the second year problems started. Many foreign players like me always had problems in the second year because the more foreign players come and go the more money people put in their pockets.
There have been horror stories from Romania for footballers. How was your time there?
Playing in Italy and Romania was totally different to the places in Asia where I have played. You can’t really compare it in any way. I came to Asia because at that time the transfer window was closed in Europe. It was hard to go back after because of not having the EU passport. It took me a while to adapt because I was used to playing and training with really quality players. In Asia the training facilities are not like in Europe.
Now at Sabah in Malaysia. Why did you choose them?
I came to Sabah because a coach here called me. He used to play against me back in Indonesia.
Tell us about the club and their goals?
Its a been club with good mentality. We will see what are the plans for the future.
How has your time been there so far?
Its been okay so far. We need to improve on many things.
Currently you have an Achilles injury. What’s the latest on that front? When are you expected back?
I had a problem with my back heel. Should be okay and back playing soon.
Any thoughts on returning to Australia to play?
I would like to come back to Australia, but its not easy because I don’t have the contacts there. I left when I was very young and even when I came back I didn’t stay for too long.