Central Coast Mariners have signed veteran Serbian midfielder Milan Duric, the club revealed tonight.
Having most recently played in his homeland with FK Vojvodina, Duric, 31, has previously plied his trade in Macedonia, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Azerbaijan and of course, Serbia.
The Belgrade-born playmaker was named best foreign player in the Macedonian First League in 2010 when his side FK Metalurg Skopje won the cup and qualified for the early stages of the Europa League.
The following season his side FK Radnik Bijeljina won the league in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Duric's seven goal haul earned the title of best player in the league.
In 2012 Duric returned to Serbia with Jagodina and scored the winner in the 2013 Serbian Cup Final against Vojvodina, the club he would eventually sign for in 2018.
During a scouting mission in the off-season, Mariners coach Alen Stajcic saw Duric play in Serbia and said he was delighted to have signed him for the upcoming season.
“Milan has years of experience playing in the Serbian top league and throughout Europe,” Stajcic said. “He is a natural leader and captained Vojvodina last season, one of the bigger clubs of Serbian football.
“This signing is another example of bringing a strong core of experience and leadership to the club and Milan is a role model that our younger players will learn from.
“After watching him play in Serbia and having the chance to meet with him, it was clear that he was a player that could come to the Hyundai A-League and make an impact."
After signing a one-year-contract with the Central Coast Mariners Đurić can’t wait to get going.
“I am very excited to have joined the Mariners,” Đurić said. “I have met all of the players who have been very welcoming and trained with the team today.
“The opportunity to play in Australia is something that I am really looking forward to. The hard work starts now and I cannot wait to play my first game here with the Mariners.
“My goal is to earn the respect of the coach, players, club and of course, the fans – there’s only one way to do this which is on the football pitch.”