Franjic fires in forward foray

When Brisbane Roar Head Coach Mike Mulvey picked usual right-back Ivan Franjic to play in a more attacking role against Newcastle Jets in round 22 of the Hyundai A-League season, many were surprised at the selection.

When Brisbane Roar Head Coach Mike Mulvey picked usual right-back Ivan Franjic to play in a more attacking role against Newcastle Jets in round 22 of the Hyundai A-League season, many were surprised at the selection.

But in the two matches he-s had to re-adjust to life on the right wing, Franjic - who played in the position as a youngster - has proven he-s more than capable of the new challenge laid down to him.

The Fox Sports commentary team named him as their player of the match against Adelaide United last Saturday, giving him three points in their Alex Tobin award tally.

“I love to attack and in that position you get to attack more than you defend so I-m really enjoying it,” said Franjic, who went close to scoring on a number of occasions against the Reds.

“It came out of the blue to be honest - Mike told me at training that he wanted to try me a bit further up and that he felt Jack was playing well at right back.

“I think Jack and I have linked up well over the last couple of weeks.”

It-s that combination between himself and Hingert that Franjic credits for his ability to put more pressure on the opposition defence and attack more freely up the field.

“If one of us goes forward, the other one will cover him,” he said.

“Every player needs to defend in some capacity, especially out wide and we-ll have to be especially mindful of that against the Victory this weekend because that-s where they are good at attacking.”

The Victorian Premier League product came agonisingly close to his first goal of the season at Hindmarsh Stadium last Saturday when his header off a Luke Brattan free kick bounced against either side of the upright before Adelaide eventually cleared.

“Can-t come any closer than I did on the weekend!” he laughed.

“But if I keep getting time in this position, I-ll keep pushing forward and I think the goals will start coming slowly.”

Franjic has proved himself as a versatile player in the Brisbane Roar squad throughout the 2012/13 season, also impressing in a short stint in central defence when defensive stocks were down.

The Melbourne-born player is expected to continue in his new attacking role this Saturday when Brisbane Roar hosts Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium. Tickets available from Ticketek.