A three-year ambition to play in Australia has come true for Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic, who has signed with Brisbane Roar FC - subject to a medical following his expected arrival at the weekend.
The 27-year-old is a strong centre forward who shoots with both feet and is a set-piece specialist. He averaged a goal nearly every two games while playing for Red Star Belgrade and FC Rad in the Serbian SuperLiga.
But it was a match in Brisbane in 2012 that sparked a new dream for the talented striker.
Kaluderovic was a member of the Beijing Guoan side that drew 1-1 with the Roar in an AFC Champions League game at Suncorp Stadium in May, 2012.
He was so impressed with what he saw during that visit, Kaluderovic set himself a goal of returning here to play.
“For that opportunity to be with the Champions of Australia is a great honour,” Kaluderovic said.
“This will be a new experience for me and a new challenge. I look forward to it.”
If he passes his medical, Kaluderovic will be the Roar’s third signing in the current transfer window and follows the recruitment of German utility player Jerome Polenz and former Socceroo defender Luke DeVere.
The Roar has signed Kaluderovic to the end of the current Hyundai A-League season with an option to extend the deal further.
Roar Director of Football Ken Stead said it was too early to speculate on whether Kaluderovic would be considered for squad selection for the Roar’s Hyundai A-League match against Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium on Monday.
Also vying for selection to start against the Phoenix will be international marquee player Thomas Broich, experienced goalkeeper Michael Theo and young defender Jack Hingert, who are all returning from injury.
“The squad has trained hard during the break and with the addition of our new signings and key players coming back from injury, we are well prepared for the exciting challenges of the second half of the season,” Stead said.
Kaluderovic, who stands 180cm and weighs 74kg, has played three times for Serbia at full international level and six times for his country’s under-23 and under-21 teams.
His 13 goals for Red Star Belgrade in 2011 saw him finish the year as equal top scorer in the SuperLiga and earned him a place in the competition’s Team of the Year.
Overall, he scored 19 goals in 43 appearances for the famed club before he switched to China in a reported lucrative transfer. Since then he has played in Spain (Racing Santander), Serbia (Vojvodina), Cyprus (AEL Limassol) and mostly recently in Switzerland with Super League side FC Thun.