During the week Melbourne Knights announced its first new signing for the upcoming National Premier Leagues Victoria competition in the form of full-back Stefan Cali.
Cali joins from Adelaide’s NPL Competition, with a history of playing at some of the state’s biggest and most successful clubs.
A recent triumph of Cali’s comes in the pedigree of having won the Australian National Premier League competition, where the North East MetroStars travelled to Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to overcome three consecutive away games to take out the National title.
Speaking to Knights Media, Stefan explained his move to Somers Street.
“It’s been ongoing for the last year or two. I’ve always wanted to travel with soccer and experience life by myself for a little bit – to get out and live by myself – to play without having support of family. It’s something I really wanted to do,” Cali said.
Football and travel are something high on Cali’s to-do list, so it was a no-brainer when head coach Andrew Marth phoned the established defender to join Knights.
“Two years ago I was playing with MetroStars and we were part of the National Premier League Championship. We travelled to Perth and to Melbourne and to Sydney as well.”
“I managed to chat with Zeljko Kuzman who was a part of Melbourne Knights before. I had a chat with him a couple of weeks ago and he said that Andrew (Marth) was keen on getting something sorted, he even gave me a call as well. We went from there, I sat down a couple of years ago with Zeljko and we had a chat about it, and he said I was always welcome to travel across – and that Knights would be more than happy to take care of me.”
Cali also gave an insight on how he will benefit the Knights in the 2016 NPL Victoria season, and his goals for the season ahead.
“The last few years I’ve been playing as a left full-back. I was given the opportunity at White City to play there. I can play a more central role as a defensive midfielder or a centre back, too. I haven’t played there much in the past season or two. I think as myself as a hard-working, pretty defensive-minded player,” he explained.
“In the next year I just really want to play consistent football, play well and who knows where it could take me. It could take me to the A-League or overseas, or if I don’t want to pursue it any more it could just be an awesome experience and something I’ve really wanted to do.”
With Melbourne Knights offering a deal too good to be true for Cali, he reflected on a trip to Knights Stadium only a few weeks ago, as he walked up the driveway to our famous home.
“I know it’s a massive club. When I went there a few weeks ago I was walking down the driveway and looking at the stadium and the Knight on the side… it definitely does not sound like a small club. I already know they’re a massive, massive club.”
“The likes of Mark Viduka played here and the clubs he went on to play for. I really think this is a good move for me to go interstate, and I couldn’t think of anywhere else to go but Melbourne Knights.”
Stefan Joins from White City Beograd in Adelaide’s SANPL.
Full name: Stefan Alexander Cali