Football 3 years ago

Bozanic shoots for Socceroos at Victory

  • Bozanic shoots for Socceroos at Victory

Melbourne Victory has signed Socceroo midfielder Oliver Bozanic as the A-League champions' new Australian marquee man.

Bozanic, 26, joins on a three-year deal to replace departed championship-winning captain Mark Milligan.

After leaving Swiss club Luzern in July, Bozanic said he was happy to head back to the A-League for a club of Victory's stature.

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"It's a massive club but I don't see it as extra pressure," he said.

"I'm just going to focus on what I need to do and hopefully I can show my qualities."

The midfielder will slot straight into Milligan's place in Victory's starting 11 but coach Kevin Muscat said it would be wrong to consider him a prototype.

"He's not been brought here to directly replace Mark, he brings his own qualities," he said.

"What he does bring, at a good age, is an abundance of experience ... and a great deal of versatility as well to our midfield area."

The deal comes after a protracted off-season courtship.

The Sydney native said he had offers to stay in Europe and Muscat said the club had no shortage of proposals for the marquee role.

"Like all clubs when positions become available, you become inundated with requests to join the club," Muscat said.

"But we were very patient and did our due diligence, what we see is what we think is a good fit for the football club."

This will be Bozanic's third stint in the A-League after two spells with Central Coast, including a premiership and championship under Graham Arnold in 2012 and 2013.

On top of Bozanic's CV is two matches with the Socceroos at the 2014 World Cup and he said he wanted to use his time at Victory to bring more national caps.

"It's all about playing games for the Socceroos, but my main aim is to get settled in straight away and to do well in the A-League."

Muscat said Victory would give him the platform to do just that.

"For the first time in as long as I can remember, playing for the national team is only a by product of what you do for your club," he said.

"That hasn't happened in this country for a long while."

Bozanic brings Victory's senior squad to 19, meaning Muscat can make at least one more signing before the season begins in October.

"If someone does become available to improve the squad then we'll have a look ... but we'll take our time," Muscat said.

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