Phoenix turn to Kaludjerovic

15 August 2017 20:37:17 GMTPlus10

Former Serbia international Andrija Kaludjerovic has signed for Wellington Phoenix.

The 30-year-old is back in the A-League for a second stint, having played for Brisbane Roar in 2015.

Kaludjerovic, who won three caps for Serbia and also played for them at U21 and U23 levels, has shown himself at times to be a regular goalscorer.

He netted 21 goals in 45 games in 2009/10 for Belgrade side Rad in the Serbian SuperLiga, and after joining Red Star Belgrade for the following year scored 19 times.

He managed five goals in 10 games when he played for the Roar, and has maintained that form despite flitting between clubs in the past two years.

His total since he left Brisbane is 35 goals from 51 games across four different teams, so new Phoenix coach Darija Kalezic hopes he can fire the New Zealand outfit to success this season.

Kalezic said Kaludjerovic was a player with a great mentality, who was also a team player.

"A typical striker who is always looking to make goals, but also, a player who is able to play with his back to the goal of the opponent, keep the ball and play attractive combination football," added the coach.

"He has great experience from playing football in a variety of different competitions. He also has a good sense of [the A-League] after playing here before, which gives him a good view of the strength of the league, his possibilities and our expectations."

Kaludjerovic said the standard of football in the A-League was one of the things that persuaded him to terminate his contract with Thai club Port FC.

He acknowledges Kalezic will be expecting goals from him but feels he will be capable of delivering.

"My area is in the goalbox; this feeling for the goal, I was born with this and almost every club if I play, I score goals," he said. "But my game is not just to score goals, I have good cooperation with other players, it's a nice feeling too to make the assist."

Wellington are 25/1 to win the Grand Final. The Phoenix are 11/8 to win their first game of the league season against Adelaide United, who are 7/4 with the draw 13/5.

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