Steven Ugarkovic is eager to play finals football with Newcastle Jets in the A-League and spoke to The Football Sack about his longer term ambition to ply his trade in Europe.

Ugarkovic has just passed two years with the Jets and has faced drastic lows after finishing third-last and last in his first two seasons but has experienced a renaissance this season under the invigorating guidance of coach Ernie Merrick.

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The midfielder has formed a strong relationship with fellow holding midfielder Ben Kantarovski in that time which importantly frees up the likes of Andrew Nabbout, Dimitri Petratos and Roy O’Donovan to do what they do best.

“Ben and I get along on and off the pitch and that definitely helps,” he said.

“He has a great football brain and we work well off each other. With a defensive-minded player like that it allows myself and especially Dimi the freedom to go forward.

“Ben has been a big influence to the team this year.”

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As for those supremely talented forwards ahead of himself the 23-year-old says there’s so much more to them than just scoring goals.

“People don’t notice but they do a fair bit of defensive work when it comes to a press and tracking players,” he said.

“So many just see the goals but they help our defence as much as they can and have been excellent on that side of things this season as well.”

Ugarkovic is champing at the bit to make it to the finals with his teammates at Newcastle but also holds big ambitions for his long term future overseas.

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“I’m happy here in Newcastle playing every week which is what you want as a footballer,” he said.

“As a dream you always want to play in Europe in the UEFA Champions League so that would be long term but at the moment I’m focused on playing well this season.

“It’s been a dream of mine to play finals football in the A-League so that’s at the top of my list at the moment. Once we hit that I can move forward from there.”

A big factor in Ugarkovic reaching that dream of finals football will be the support of the Jets’ home crowd and the active support in Bay 1 as they look to consolidate second place or even push for first.

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“You feel the atmosphere and when you look up at the attendance and it’s over 10,000 people it’s great to know that the crowds are coming back,” Ugarkovic said.

“Especially in Bay 1 we definitely hear them on the field and it drives us to put in that extra bit of effort.

 

Featured image photo credit to Sproule Sports Focus

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Living and studying in Newcastle. Pretty obsessed with football. Newcastle Jets and Chelsea FC fan