Sunday, 16 June 2013


Experienced forwards such as Davor Vugrinec, Nino Bule, Tomislav Erceg, Ivan Krstanovic and Robert Spehar to name just a few have often thrived on returning to Croatia and it appears the answer for many HNL1 clubs next season is to fetch themselves a experienced goalgetter.  Lack of goals proved NK Zagreb's undoing last season despite being one of the more established Croatian top flight sights.  The 10 teams that make up HNL1 this season will not want to fall in the same trap.  However there are a number of such players on the market

SASA BJELANOVIC - Bjelanovic is now 34 and with a wealth of experience behind him including playing against some of the toughest defenders in Serie A successfully for Ascoli as well as enjoying spells with Chievo, Genoa, Torino, Vicenza, Hellas Verona, Atalanta and playing Champions League with Cluj.  Bjelanovic certainly has enough left in him for two more seasons, should he choose to want them in Croatia having shown no sign of losing his ability to score and may still recieve offers from abroad.  Slaven Belupo particularly need a player like this for next season, however Bjelanovic should be considering by Hajduk Split who lack a experienced goalgetter.

ASIM SEHIC - After a fairly unproductive spell in Al Faisaly, Sehic will be keen to return back to Croatia and to his former club Istra 1961 where he was a key part of the promotion to the top flight and staying up in their first two seasons.  Sehic has also scored goals in Neuchatel Xamax and Slaven Belupo.

KRUNOSLAV LOVREK - Similarly to Bjelanovic, Lovrek is a high established goalgetter who has last season played alongside Allesandro Del Piero with FC Sydney.  His spell in Australia did signal that Lovrek needs to return home to Croatia with Slaven Belupo are very possible destination as the club was desperately short of goalscoring threat in the second half of the season, with key goalgetter Davor Vugrinec now 38 years old.  Belupo will be ill advised to miss out on such a forward as Lovrek who enjoyed title winning success with Jeonboek in South Korea.

DINO KRESINGER - Kresinger had a productive spell with Western Sydney last season, however he was part of this summers clear out and will be hunted by clubs in the Croatian league where he impressed with Cibalia.  His former club has dropped down to HNL1, but Kresinger will be a target for Istra 1961, Zadar and Osijek.

DRAGAN BLATNJAK - Should Dinamo Zagreb signed promising 17 year old Stipe Perica from Zadar it is likely, the club will move for their former Bosnia Herzegovina international forward Blatnjak.  Blatnjak has enjoyed successful spells at Hajduk Split, Khimki and FK Rostov, but returned to NK Osijek in the Spring on a short term deal and is a available on a free transfer.

GORAN LJUBOJEVIC - It is unknown whether this player is available after netting twice in 10 matches in Naft Tehran where he may be offered another season.  Should Ljubojevic be made available his likely destination is to return to the Gradski Vrt in Osijek where he has enjoyed two successful stints.  Ljubojevic is the type of forward Osijek need to help the promising Antonio Perosevic, despite being close to bringing Josip Barisic back to the club.  Ljubojevic again may become the target of Slaven Belupo who need a experienced goalgetter having allowed Davor Vugrinec to leave.

KARLO PRIMORAC - Although scoring goals for fun in Daarby Sime the standard of the league is not good and Primorac may be encouraged to return to Croatia.  Hrvatski Dragovoljac need a forward and could be encouraged to move for Primorac.  Former club Osijek may also see Primorac as a cheaper option  as they are strapped for cash and have little to spend of wages.

DARIO ZAHORA - Until his move to Ergotelis, Zahora's career looked to be going firmly off the rails having failed to gain enough matches at Osijek and Lokomotiva to win a long term contract.  Former club of Mario Budimir Ergotelis, however offered the player a year with them in the Greek second division and Zahora has impressed helping the club to regain promotion as the teams top scorer.  Zahora may be offered another year but if not he would be attractive now for HNL1 sides having proven himself at a similar level.
* Zahora signs for Greek club Irakilis.

Other players available include Al Wahda's AHMAD SHARBINI whilst Dragovoljac or aspiring HNL2 sides may be alerted by the availability of DAVOR VUGRINEC, MARIO JELAVIC and MARTIN SABAN.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Dinamo Zagreb have moved quickly to acquire new players ahead of next season, by signing Argentine goalkeeper Pablo Migliore, Chilean striker Junior Fernandes on loan from Bayer Leverkusen and most impressively Algerian winger Al Arbi Soudani who netted 9 goals for Vitoria Guimares this season.  The club also announced Domagoj Antolic, will be recalled from Lokomotiva and will compete in a already crowded midfield with Alen Halilovic, Sammir, Ivan Tomecak, Luis Ibanez, Jerko Leko, Nikola Pokrivac, Marcelo Brozovic, Arjan Ademi, Zvonko Pamic and Said Husljenovic all on the books and unlikely to transfer.  Dinamo also revealed they have had no offers for Croatia playmaker Sammir and their is no decision on the future of Andrej Kramaric, who could spend another season on loan despite scoring 14 times.

RNK Split and HNK Rijeka also aim to continue their progress by recruiting new players.  Having tied up Anas Sharbini, Rijeka have strengthened their forward line by signing Josip Tadic from Melbourne Heart.  Tadic, 25 proved squad player scoring 20 goals whilst with Dinamo Zagreb. Spells with Grenoble, Lechia Grdansk, Omonia proved unsuccessful and short lived.  However Tadic scored 6 times last season in Australia's A league and also impressed at Arminia Bielfeld.  The club announced they also hope to renew Danijel Cesarec's contract, whilst HNL1 top goalscorer Leon Benko will remain having netted 18 goals.  Tadic, is expected to prove more clinical that outgoing Belgian forward Andrea Mutombo, who can find a new club along with Drago Gabric, Mato Neretljak and Lukasz Mierzejewski.

RNK Split are looking to pick up Istra 1961 midfield Mislav Andreljkovic and Osijek defender Ivan Ibriks.  Both Slaven Belupo, Split and Istra themselves will also be alerted by the news of Dino Kresinger's release from Western Sydney. Kresinger, 31 impressed at Cibalia, before joining the Austrialia A League side last summer scoring 2 goals.  Osijek meantime have appointed new coach Tomislav Steinbuckner and hopes to make Frane Vitaic his first signing.