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.