Melbourne Knights FC continue to strengthen the 2018 artillery, with a large number of player signings and re-signings prior to the end of the year. As 2017 comes to a close in a weeks time, the senior men’s squad is almost complete for next season, with Nikola Jurkovic, Anthony Duzel & Anthony Dezic all signing on for another year with the club. We spoke with all three this week regarding the measures that have been put in place for success in 2018, with each of them having energetic outlooks on Melbourne Knights’ aims for the season ahead.
Jurkovic, who is a fortnight short of his 20th birthday, agreed to terms with the club this week and has re-committed for the 2018 season.
Jurkovic is no stranger to the grounds in North Sunshine. Having been a fan since childhood, he also spent 5 years as a junior with the club, before heading to fellow Croatian-backed club, North Geelong Warriors FC. At the age of 17, Jurkovic returned and signed a senior contract with Melbourne Knights at the conclusion of the 2015 NPL season.
Since then, Jurkovic has become an integral part of Knights’ senior setup, making regular starting appearances and he has quickly become known for being an immovable object against unstoppable forces.
Proving himself to be an individual who plays for the team and for the shirt, Jurkovic is a firm fan-favourite with the loyal home fans and can be relied upon as a true Knight during tough fixtures, especially when bragging rights and club pride are on the line.
The club would like to wish Nikola all the best for the following year and we look forward to more of his 110% efforts on display in the 2018 season.
Duzel, 20, first appeared on Knights’ senior squad in 2013, a year in which the team finished second on the table. Surrounded by the likes of Andrew Barisic, Ljubo Milicevic, Daniel Visevic, and Marijan Cvitkovic – the youngster insists that their guidance has had a large impact on his development to this day.
Having starred in the NYL with Melbourne Victory Youth, Duzel says that that connection across all tiers of football in Australia is vital:
“Melbourne Knights is the club where I started my footballing career – it’s also where my father played as a professional back in the NSL.”, stated Duzel.
“It would mean the world to me to see the club achieve great results and to be noticed on the national stage [again].”
Duzel also said that he’s happy to be back at Somers St, seeing the faces he grew up with in the crowd each week supporting the team, and hoped for it’s continuation going into next season:
“We need the backing from all our supporters, so that we can lift as a team and have massive successes, as we have in the past,”
“My personal aim is to play regularly, consistently and to have a stand-out year”, said Duzel.
The club would like to welcome back Anthony for the 2018 season, and wishes him the best of luck for next year.
“The feeling around the club has been good so far. Everyone is keen on improving from last season and getting things started with Aljosa & Dean.”
“Next season will differ from last season, in the sense that a lot of quality has been welcomed into the club – so it’s up to us to finish higher up on the table”, said Dezic.
Dezic, 20, is yet another shining example of the hard work Melbourne Knights put in to provide a pathway for junior players through to first-team football. After some solid performances for the seniors, Dezic says that leadership plays a massive role to that strike-rate and ultimate longevity of the club:
“The leadership from senior players, in particular Tommy [Uskok] & Marijan [Cvitkovic] has been a huge help towards myself, and a lot of the young boys; both on and off the field.”
Dezic will be gunning for starting-11 positions next season and promises to be putting in the hard work to ensure success:
“My personal goal for this season will be to play as many games as I possibly can, that’s what’s going to take my game to the next level.”
The club welcomes Anthony’s continuing development, and wishes him all the best going into the 2018 season.
As the year comes to an end and the Christmas festivities begin, keep an eye on all Melbourne Knights social media pages in the coming days for the final few player announcements for next season.