Even at just 19 years of age, it’s fair to say that Brisbane Roar’s Vedrana Popovic has seen her fair share of football.
Even at just 19 years of age, it-s fair to say that Brisbane Roar-s Vedrana Popovic has seen her fair share of football.
A member of the inaugural Queensland Roar squad that won the Westfield W-League back in the 2008/09 season, Popovic also endured year-long stints at both Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United before finding her way back to Brisbane to re-join Head Coach Jeff Hopkins- Brisbane team.
The young defender said the experiences has been invaluable for her career.
“I think it-s been a good opportunity for me, I-ve played for a few different clubs and a lot of different players,” she said.
“In Melbourne in 2009, I played with a US national team player which was good because she had so much experience.
“I was happy to learn from each different coach and player but I-m just happy to be back at the Roar this year.”
A tough challenge awaits Popovic this weekend as Brisbane Roar travel to South Australia to take on Adelaide United - the club she left earlier this year.
Incredibly, United haven-t been victorious in their past 30 outings in the competition but Popovic denied complacency creeping into Brisbane camp.
The Roar haven-t had an ideal start to the campaign themselves with just one point to show from their opening two games and Popovic said it was important for her side to keep the right mindset leading into the game.
“I-m really excited actually, to play against Adelaide,” she said.
“It-s not going to be easy and we can-t take any game lightly - we-ve just got to go out there and play strongly as a team.
“We haven-t had the greatest start with a draw and a loss but the team has been really positive at training.
“We-re just trying to keep up that positive energy and work hard this weekend to get a win.”
Re-joining the Roar in the off-season has allowed Popovic to cast an eye over what she sees as the big differences in the team since the inception of the Westfield W-League.
“There are a few different players so a different team but to be honest, I think we-re better and the team as a whole is more mature,” she said.
“In 2008 in the first season, it was nerve-wracking because no one knew what to expect but I think we-ve grown as a team since then.
“We-ve had a few players come and go, like me, but we-ve got a really strong core squad now.”
Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar Saturday 12 November 2011 Burton Park, Adelaide Local kick-off: 4pm
Adelaide United squad: 20. Kristi HARVEY (gk), 2. Ruth WALLACE, 3. Anna GREEN, 4. Daniela DI BARTOLO, 5. Abby ERCEG (C), 7. Racheal QUIGLEY, 8. Leanne SLATER, 9. Marijana RAJCIC, 11. Ashleigh GUNNING, 12. Greta FRENCH-KENNEDY, 13. Vanessa REED, 14. Donna COCKAYNE, 17. Katherine EBBS, 18. Georgia MACRI, 19. Nenita BURGESS, 1. Sian MCLAREN (gk) * one to be omitted
In: Katherine EBBS (return from suspension) Out: Nil Unavailable: Emma CHECKER, Grace HENRY, Ebony PHILCOX (All international duty - Australia U-17), Angela FIMMANO (injured)
Brisbane Roar squad: 30. Monique NELSON (gk), 2.Laura ALLEWAY, 3.Karla REUTER, 4.Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5.Brooke SPENCE, 6.Joanne BURGESS, 9.Catherine CANNULI, 10.Lana HARCH, 12.Ashley SPINA, 13.Tameka Butt, 14. Vedrana POPOVIC, 15.Sasha MCDONNELL, 16.Michaela HATZIRODAS, 17.Emily GIELNIK, 19.Ellen BEAUMONT, 20.Hoshimi KISHI (gk) * one to be omitted
In: Monique Nelson (promoted) Out: Casey Dumont (suspended - 1 week) Unavailable: Elise Kellond-Knight, Kim Carroll, Aivi Luik (all overseas - 1 week)