Thursday, 30 September 2010
It is understood Posavec left Belupo as they were over capacitated in that area with Aljosa Vojinovic and Goran Mujanovic already on board. Belupo also wanted to bring the younger Stjepan Poljak back to the club. For Varazdin, Posavec would be a major addition and would be reunited with former teammate Nikola Safaric. However the deal is currently on ice as Varazdin need to shift out a midfielder first and the quartet of Glavina - Glavica - Golubar - Susac are currently performing well. In the winter Varazdin would like to raise funds from the sale of there two stars Roberto Puncec and Josip Brezovec who have been little short of outstanding so far this season. At that point Safaric is expected to be moved into the starting line and Posavec may become an option. At present Varazdin are deciding whether they strike a deal with Posavec now or wait till then. The club may also look at Gordan Golik as a new defensive midfield man.
The rejuvenation of Varazdin in the face of what is a financial mess has been so expected to Varazdin that the club suddenly need to decide what to do with Gordan Vuk, Andrej Vuk and Adi Musli who all appear surplus to requirements and may be allowed to move on. One thing Varazdin need to stay weary of is players moving freely due to unpaid wages. Josip Brezovec is playing so well that he deserves a transfer to a bigger club and Puncec is continuing the same form that helped earn Croatia a semi final place in the Under 19 Euro Championships. Varazdin lost Igor Prahic and Matija Smrekar to French Ligue 2 promotion chasers Sedan last year for little to no money. Smrekar since looks likely to go onto some degree of success, so Varazdin must stay guarded of losing such talents for nothing.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Istra seemed to have passed up on the idea of bringing high profile names such as Ivan Bosnjak and Dario Zahora (now of Bnei Sahknin). They did pursuade Sinisa Linic to sign up, however problems are in the creative and goalscoring department. Armend Alimi and Kovacevic seem not to be making their mark. The club could attempt to switch things around if the clubs wealthy Russian owner has the ambition to stay in the league. Srebrenko Posavec and Miroslav Saric would be two adventurous recruits and can play immediately due to being in free agent status.
In attack Asim Sehic, Edin Hadzic, Eliomar and Bosko Stupic have done well in former years and may come alive if the supply is good enough.
Saturday, 25 September 2010
RNK Split kept up their excellant winning streak to improve their status in the top three beating crisis club Istra 1961 1-0. Slaven Belupo moved up to fifth after a comfortable 3-0 win over Dragovoljac. Vojinovic, Tepuric and Bagaric were on target. Belupo released Filip Marcic in midweek due to misconduct. Dragovoljac are becoming cut adrift at the bottom of the table with Istra 1961.
Inter Zapresic and Osijek recorded much needed wins to move away from the relegation zone. Zapresic have had an amazing turnaround in fortunes and picked up another 1-0 victory this time at Sibenik. Maligned Albanian striker Arber Abilijaj finally got his first goal of the season. Osijek were 3-2 winners against Zadar, which sent the opponents further into difficulty. Vedran Jugovic, Ivan Milicevic and Vedran Niksic scored in a hard fought win. Osijek will be relieved that Niksic, Milicevic and Josip Barisic are finally hitting the net again.
Cibalia prevented their slide towards to lower end of the table with a 1-0 win over Karlovac. Reliable striker Dino Kresinger scored their goal. Karlovac gave a debut to new signing Karlo Primorac, who last played for Dinamo Zagreb.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Bosnjak instead could be looking at a Croatian club like HNK Rijeka. Nenad Gracan may be interested in the winter should he lose Radomir Dalovic. However for now he is staying firmly within budget. Many Rijeka fans feel that the team needs a few more experienced attacking midfielder to help them compete with Dinamo and Hajduk. As well as Bosnjak, Srebrenko Posavec and Miroslav Saric are handy free agent signings.
Posavec, 30 and Gordan Golik, 25 could well be waiting for a deal with NK Varazdin who need to sell in the winter and may be taking a few months away to recharge. However Miroslav Saric is likely to be the next to sign up with a new club just to gain first team action having failed to secure a deal abroad. Cibalia, Karlovac, Istra Pula or Zadar could all be looking at him.
Abroad, Marko Maric may be looking around clubs. However once again he could prove an attractive recruit for Rijeka as replacement for Damir Kreilach who may recieve offers in the winter. Dino Drpic's situation also looks desperate as he has failed to land a new club. It is surprising no Bundesliga 1 or 2 offer has been lodged. Goran Sablic's injury issue could well have got the better off him. Usually such players as Sablic and Drpic were guarenteed deals in Dinamo or Hajduk, but times seem to have changed. Marko Babic has only beginning looking for a new club so still has time.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Elsewhere Karlo Primorac has finally agreed terms to sign with Karlovac. The 26 year old Osijek forward is being seen as a major recruit by Igor Pamic, who has funds from the transfers of Goran Bunoza, Nevan Vukman and Mario Baric. Pamic has been looking for a influential signing since allowing youngster Niko Tokic to leave the club. Pamic has also signed up former Inter Zapresic defender Marijan Budimir, due to an injury to Toni Golem.
Slaven Belupo may also be forced to look for a new player due to injury to their misfiring frontman Tomislav Busic. It is possible Aljosa Vojinovic and Mateas Delic may be forced to abandon their midfield roles to join Francis Tepuric and Matija Poredski in attack. Filip Marcic has also been released by the club due to misconduct, although his place in currently being filled by younger Puric.
Srebrenko Posavec, Ivan Bosnjak, Marko Babic, Dino Drpic, Goran Sablic, Marko Maric, Gordan Golik and Miroslav Saric remain without a club after two months into the new season. Posavec, Golik and Saric could yet find space in a HNL1 club, but the others may have to look abroad.
Friday, 17 September 2010
RIJEKA 0 HAJDUK 1 (Brkljaca)
ZAPRESIC 1 OSIJEK 0 (Saric)
VARAZDIN 2 CIBALIA 1 (Susac, Brezovec/ Kresinger)
DRAGOVOLJAC 0 SIBENIK 1 (Alispahic)
SPLIT 1 LOKOMOTIVA 0 (Vitaic)
ZADAR 2 ISTRA 0
KARLOVAC 1 BELUPO 0
RNK Split look set to launch a campaign for European football after yet another victory. This time at home to Lokomotiva. Ante Vitaic netted the only goal of the game. Karlovac are also on a good winning run with a impressive 1-0 win against Slaven Belupo. Igor Pamic intends to improve his team in midweek with a new signing and will be satisfied his latest arrival Cejvanovic found the net, whilst also keeping a clean sheet. Slaven Belupo meanwhile, have creativity in abundance from Stjepan Poljak, Aljosa Vojinovic and Goran Mujanovic, but are finding goals hard to come by. Mateas Delic has been satisfactory, however neither Francis Tepuric or summer signing Tomislav Busic have found the net so far this season.
Josip Brezovec once again showed his quality as he netted the winner to help Varazdin defeat Cibalia 2-1. Despite having the worse financial situation in HNL1, Varazdin have impressed so far this season with a fine young crop of player. Brezovec and Robert Puncec, stand out but Glavina, Glavica, Simek and Krklec have also performed well this season. Cibalia will see this as an opportunity lost. However Stanko Mrsic's side are still in a comfortable league position and will forward to their next match.
Inter Zapresic made it three wins in a row as they overcame Osijek 1-0 thanks to Tomislav Saric's strike. It was a important win for Zapresic which brings them back amongst the pack attempting to stay safe in midtable. Sibenik also recorded a victory against winless Hrvatski Dragovoljac. However Mehmad Alispahic's solitary penalty goal will not convince Vjekoslav Lokic they have turned the corner just yet. Despite Sibenik's win, Zadar recorded a win over lowly Istra Pula to edge clear of danger.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Dinamo still have the same system employed by Velimir Zajec, which has been bringing the best out of Sammir. However Halilhodzic has made changes, bringing in the experienced Tonel in the centre of defence and moving Leandro Cufre to left back. Tomislav Barbaric has been dropped to the bench where he provides cover.
It also has not taken the Bosnian coach long to work out that Luis Ibanez is a stronger midfielder than a defender and is using him in an attacking role. Dinamo have also had success on the right wing where Sime Vrsaljko and Ivan Tomecak provide excellant energy and pace. The Croatian Under 21 international are a major hope for the countries footballing future. Halilhodzic has also put his trust in Arjan Ademi alongside Milan Badelj, but have two more than able deputies in Matias Chago and Adrian Callelo.
In attack Halilhodzic finally played Pedro Morales to the delight of many Dinamo fans, who enjoyed the Chileans performances last season. Morales is hugely talented and possessing strong shooting and passing skills. Dodo is expected to fall into the background with Fatos Beciraj and Jakub Sylvestr ready for games next week. Along with Dodo, Miroslav Slepicka will also struggle for action. The 28 year old is not the future of the team and may be made available for sale. Andrej Kramaric could also suffer. Etto, Chago and Ibanez are expected to have a place at Dinamo.
Monday, 13 September 2010
Whilst Sibenik struggle, Inter Zapresic have improved with Antun Palic central to all the sides good work in attack. Macedonian striker Aleksander Trajkovski also seems to have added something where Albanian Arber Abiliajaj was struggling. Matija Matko is also expected to add some strength from the bench.
NK Zagreb, Rijeka, Slaven Belupo and Cibalia have as yet been untroubled at the start of the season. There is reasons to be positive for all those squads who should be challenging for a Europa Liga slot come the end of the season. RNK Split are also functioning perfectly under Ivan Katilinac after making some excellant signings. Split haven't even seen the best yet of Zvonimir Deranja as Romano Oblinovic and Bojan Golubovic has covered for him excellantly. There has even been rumours that Split could recieve offers in the winter for Golubovic.
Split will want to follow the example set by Karlovac, who are fighting hard in their second season in the Croatian top flight. Coach Igor Pamic has been keen to improve his squad, especially after transferring Mario Baric for 200,000 Euro's. However Pamic has found it hard to pursuade players that Karlovac is a worthy club to come to. Pamic was keen to sign former Osijek striker Karlo Primorac. However as the player spent the end of last season with Dinamo Zagreb and trialled with Eintract Frankfurt, it would appear the 26 year old feels he can gain a better offer. Primorac was a target for Rijeka and Slaven Belupo, but both sides now appear to have filled their striking vacancies. Whether Primorac would come back on the agenda of such sides or for Osijek or Zagreb in the winter is not known. Miroslav Saric could become a serious target for Karlovac for right midfield.
Osijek have returned to form after a poor start to the season. New players are now bedding in and Josip Barisic and Ivan Milicevic are finally back amongst the goals. Osijek's desire is to give their young players such as Pranjic, Jugovic, Vidakovic, Sorsa and Niksic every chance, before turning to the transfer market with the money they recieved from the sale of Domagoj Vida.
Varazdin have also been sitting safely, but will need to make a sale in the winter to avoid any more financial uncertainty. Josip Brezovec has been the pick of the players in the early part of the season and could gain interest abroad. Should he go there is a ready made replacement in former player Gordan Golik who is still a free agent. Rijeka coach Nenad Gracan might also be tempted to enter the transfer market to help the club kick on to the next level. Rijeka are top, but it appears only a matter of time before Dinamo Zagreb or Hajduk Split over take them. Rijeka will only be looking at free agents. Srebrenko Posavec could add creativity, whilst Marko Maric has experience in the Greek and French league and could bring something to the team. It is also thought Ivan Bosnjak is waiting for a club like Rijeka, but it is more likely Gracan would only make such a move should Radomir Dalovic transfer, as Bosnjak commands high wages.
At the bottom of the table Istra Pula have strengthened there team. Problems have been in attack, however Bosko Stupic, Edin Hadzic, Eliomar and Asim Sehic are have reputations and should really be enough to get by in HNL1. Pula need a little more in midfield from Armend Alimi and Hjorve Kovacevic. A strong central back may also be neccessary, although there are few on the market. Miroslav Saric may also be a target for Pula should the midfield not improve its performance.
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Rijeka stay top despite being demolished 4-1 by Cibalia. Radomir Dalovic thought a good week with Montenegro would continue with his club after opening the scoring. However Radotic, Bartolovic, Kresinger and Baraban also got goals. Frane Vitaic also made his debut for Cibalia.
Karlovac moved themselves away from danger by defeating hapless Hrvatski Dragovoljac 2-0. Karlovac had enjoyed good preparations during international break and Josip Jerneic and Ante Batarelo returned the coaches trust with the key goals. Lokomotiva have also improved their league position with a 3-2 win over Zadar. Nino Bule scored twice with Croatian Under 21 international Marko Simic, who missed an entire season with injury scoring the other.
Zagreb are slipping from the top three after a 2-0 defeat against the seasons surprise package HNK Split. Split are also finding goals from all areas of the pitch with Predrag Simic and Ante Vitaic netting on this occasion. Split are now in the top five in the table. Osijek also got their second win on the bounce with a 3-1 win over trouble Sibenik. Zoran Kvrzic, Josip Barisic and Ivo Smoje got the goals. Mehmad Alispahic was on target for Sibenik who are suffering from injuries.
Sibenik look the most likely candidates from the strongly fancied HNL1 sides who could be in danger of relegation this season. The teams major issue is goalscoring as they have struggled to find a replacement for Ermin Zec. Zjelko Malcic, Niko Tokic and Drazen Jelic have all arrived in recent weeks to try to alter the teams fortunes.
Sibenik's troubles were made worse on Sunday after Inter Zapresic claimed a important 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Istra Pula. Croatia Under 21 international prospect Antun Palic netted the goal. Matija Matko and Aleksander Trajkovski have bolstered Zapresic's strikeforce during the international break. Trajkovski was recommended to Zapresic by Chelsea, but has only been able to compete after he turned 18 years old. Istra also strengthened their side signing Sinisa Linic. However Robert Jarni urgently needs striker Asim Sehic back from injury.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Babic, however found himself behind Mark Gonzalez and Edu in the pecking order and saw little action. By the time Babic was released two seasons ago he was out of match practice which showed when he turned out for six months with Hertha Berlin.
Rather than stay in Germany, Babic went back to Spain last summer with newly promoted Zaragoza and again found himself out on the bench. Babic this week agreed to terminate his contract and will search for a new club. NK Osijek stated their desire to see him back in Croatia. However it would seem Babic could gain interest from Turkey, Austria or Greece. Babic, has however recently opened a football school in his hometown Osijek and may listen to any offer.
With Drago Gabric, Nikola Pokrivac and Mario Mandzukic far from lighting it up at club and international level, it would appear Bilic could yet strengthen his side further.
In attack the Croatian media were critical of the decision to drop Mate Bilic, in spite of the striker netting 3 goals in his 4 games he played including a strike in a 1-0 victory over a Austria side who Mandzukic, Modric and Petric were struggling to put away.
Without Mate Bilic, Croatia went the same way they were going without his intevention against Austria. The Sporting Gijon forward clearly deserved to continue in the squad. Add to this Srdjan Lakic, who has been one of the best players at the beginning of the Bundesliga season scoring 3 times in just two games. Lakic has enjoyed three strong seasons on the trot now with first Heracles and then with Kaiserslautern which resulted in their reappearence in the top flight. Whilst Lakic was helping the sleeping giant and former German Champions gain promotion, he was ignored. However he deserves his chance should his form continue. Lakic and Bilic offer variation to Croatia's current forward line who in comparison on smaller technical forwards who are arguably more deep lying attacker. Since the retirement of Dado Prso and ill health of Tomislav Maric, Croatia has not been as successful with turning ariel crosses into goals. This is another advantage Lakic and Bilic can bring to the side.
Another player with a lot to offer Croatia, is their Under 21 player Ivan Perisic. Perisic has definitely come of age at Club Brugge and would seem to be a waste of a player down in the Under 21's when he could be helping the A side. Unlike Modric, Perisic finds goals from midfield a lot easier to come by and there is certainly vacancies in the squad ahead of Pokrivac and Gabric. Pokrivac has been poor in the national team since his disappointing display against England. Gabric, has been better, but Croatia seem to already have a lot of players in his style. Perisic is a completely different midfielder which Croatia need.
For now Lakic, Bilic and Perisic would certainly add something to Croatia's squad in place of Gabric, Pokrivac and Mandzukic. Ivan Klasnic was another player missing for the recent international fixtures. The 30 year old is still a excellant finisher, however he still has a little to prove with his fitness as missed the third Premiership match and lasted just 45 minutes when he finally giving his first outing.
Mato Jajalo would also have something to offer the Croatian National Team as Croatia are lacking in central midfielders. Jerko Leko could also do a job if anyone drops out injured. Jajalo however still needs to arrive in the Bundesliga. Koln have made a poor start to the season and Jajalo will need to do a little more. Ivo Ilicevic will also need to keep up his good work playing alongside Lakic at Kaiserslautern. His way into the squad may come a little harder as Croatia have similar players such as Modric, Pranjic, Rakitic and Kranjcar. However Ivo will certainly be able to step in if required.
Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida are two players who could strengthen Croatia in the backline in the future. Lovren arguably deserves a call ahead of Jurica Buljat. Luka Vucko, Tomislav Mikulic and Andre Mijatovic have also been doing well at club level in the last two seasons. The one contreversial selection available to Croatia, is Brazilian Sammir. The extremely gifted playmaker however arguably has met the requirements of national team selection which was good enough to gain access to Mario Mandzukic. Sammir has not only been scoring goals, but almost running the whole attacking segment of Dinamo Zagreb team.
The remaining player who has a good case for a shot in the national team is Nikola Kalinic. The Blackburn Rovers forward has the ability to sniff out a goal and competes hard with central defenders. Kalinic, must just keep doing what's doing for now and hope a vacancy opens for him. However Kalinic certainly has a case to start some friendlies to prove he can be of use.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Cibalia have also been tinkering with their squad, allowing Marin Vidosevic to sign up with HNL2 Imotski with Frane Vitaic taking his place. The deals signifies the financial limitations in HNL1 clubs. Thus far impact free agents such as Srebrenko Posavec, Miroslav Saric and Ivan Bosnjak have been left on the shelf perhaps due to wage demands.
Karlovac, however are still pursueing the signature of striker Karlo Primorac. Having signed Mario Ticinovic on loan and raised 200,000 Euro in transfer money, Igor Pamic could be more likely to engage Posavec or Saric. Due to smaller wages striker Mario Juric could become the next targets for clubs wanting enhancement. Dario Bodrusic has found a new engagement with second division Rudes.
Hrvatski Dragovoljac have signed former Croatia international defender Dario Smoje. The 31 year old will begin work with fitness trainers at the club having missed over a year of football since leaving Gent for Pananios. 34 year old striker Alen Mesanovic and 33 year old playmaker Darko Cordas also arrive.
Thursday, 2 September 2010
Pamic also needs a right sided player to cover the loss of Mario Baric, who signed for Ghent. One player who could be on his list to replace him could be Srebrenko Posavec. The 30 year old certainly has enough experience and class to help Karlovac. Pamic appears confident he can find quality in the free agent market. Other noteworthy free agents include Ivan Bosnjak, Gordan Golik, Marko Maric and Miroslav Saric. Karlovac could have competition for Posavec from Cibalia who also desire a creative midfielder, though they are close to completing the signing of Frane Vitaic who was lately released by Split.
In HNL2 Medimurje resigned Marijan Vuka to lead their attack. Milan Pavlicic could also soon be on the radar of a HNL2 club. Tomislav Zivko meanwhile has signed for third division Zelina after being released by Inter Zapresic. Zivko has been replaced by Mario Grgurovic which may suggest Zapresic regret his parting.
NK Zagreb have returned Jethron to the first team after suspending him for a game. Ivo Susak has given his playing staff every chance to impress him and has rarely entered the transfer market. Osijek have brought back former player Milan Pavlicic who add some competition to their attack.
Drpic will need to decide soon as he does enjoy a good relationship with national team coach Slaven Bilic and there still remains a central defensive slot open for grabs. Hajduk's Jurica Buljat is yet to convince, whilst Dario Knezevic chose to stay in the Italian second division with Livorno till the next transfer window in the winter. Drpic seems to be suffering due to life choices. Dinamo are disinterested in taking him back, whilst his form at Karlsruhre last season has not gained him any offers from the Bundesliga. The Belgian league could be a suitable home or the French Ligue 1.
Thus far Dragovoljac have looked to youngster Velimir Svaric, Nikola Kovacevic and Nikola Frzjulec to aid there striking issues. Mladina however was calling for experience, but it appears Dragovoljac don't have the wage structure to take in influential players. The club has to sign from the free agent market so could still recruit.
One experienced attacker may aid them. Such a player as Mario Juric, formerly of Slaven Belupo could have something to offer them. Juric is at the back end of his career and is more likely to consider a small wage. Its likely such players as Miroslav Saric, Marko Maric and Mario Grgurovic can obtain better offers. However Gordan Golik needs a employer as there is no room in Varazdin and would do a good job as a enforcer in midfield.
Formerly a Croatian international, Marin Skender has found gaining a new club difficult since leaving NK Osijek last summer. The 30 year old had a breif spell with NK Zagreb, however he was released at the end of last season after losing his spot in the team.
Left Back Ronald Siklic was released by Slavia Prague two months ago and is now a free agent. Siklic has a wealth of experience playing in Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland. However his most successful spell has been at Slaven Belupo which earned his move to Slavia Prague. A HNL1 club may be interested to therefore look at the player. It would also not be a surprise for Siklic to joy his brother Bruno in the Far East.
25 year old former Croatia Under 21 international Mario Grgurovic has found himself in obscurity only six months after being in decent form for Inter Zapresic. Circumstances however led him to leave the club and he has not suceded in finding a better engagement. Grgurovic should focus his attention on getting out on the field and playing again with Zadar, Dragovoljac, Sibenik, Cibalia and Istra all suitable fits for him.
UPDATE: Grgurovic returns back to Inter Zapresic.
Centre back Dario Bodrusic is another player like Grgurovic who was enjoying a decent season in the last 12 months only to find himself with an employer. Bodrusic, played 20 times for Istra Pula last season and has also enjoy spells at Rijeka, Slaven Belupo and Dinamo Tirana. It would seem only a matter of time before Bodrusic finds a new club with any number of sides fit to have him in their backline
UPDATE: Bodrusic signs with Croatian second division side Rudes.
33 year old Mario Juric has been linked regularly with Sibenik at the start of the season. However after a flurry of arrivals Juric's name eventually did not appear on the roster, so he remains a free agent. After a fairly successful spell at Slaven Belupo, it isn't known whether Juric is still keen for top flight football or would consider dropping down to HNL2 to help a team gain promotion. Juric has plenty of Europa Liga experience and has also player in the Russian Premier League.
Marijan Vuka is one of few Croatia free agents left who can boast fairly decent goalscoring records. Vuka is currently training with his first club Osijek, for whom he scored 13 goals prior to a move to Marsonia. Most recently Vuka has been playing with Medimurje and was one of their better player prior to the clubs relegation scoring 26 goals in 46 matches. He has also scored goals in Russia with Kuban Krasnador. Although Osijek allowed Vuka and Karlo Primorac to train at the Gradski Vrt they are currently given a chance to their young strikeforce, so do not wish to recruit them. Vuka may turn out a positive venture however for a HNL2 club seeking promotion or for Hrvatski Dragovoljac, who require experienced forwards.
UPDATE: Vuka returns to Medmiurje after failing to secure a HNL1 transfer.