Mileusnic’s A-League dream comes true

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When Adelaide United conceded the opening goal during its clash with Brisbane Roar last Friday, the dugout was right to feel nervous.

Still winless, the club’s season was hanging by a thread and another loss would have dismantled what confidence remains in the reigning premier’s squad.

But the nerves of substitute Nikola Mileusnic were only to increase just after Brisbane’s hour-mark goal, as the 23-year-old was told he was about to enter the pitch for his Hyundai A-League debut.

A goal down at home with the season on the line against a rampant opposition and in front of over 9,000 fans starving for a win, it was a baptism of fire in which the Adelaide City recruit was about to flourish. And flourish he did.

Speaking at his club’s Monday training session, Mileusnic said that running onto the pitch at Coopers Stadium was a dream come true.

“It was brilliant, it was amazing, it’s what I’ve been working for for a long time now, and I finally got the chance so I’m very grateful and very happy,” Mileusnic said.

“What I most remember is when [trainer] Milan [Sofranic] came and called me when I was warming up, it was a bit frightening but it was just great, it was amazing.”

When he came on, replacing experienced midfielder Marcelo Carrusca in the 64th minute, it was all systems go for the debutant. Sprinting up and back on the right side, the young man put together a number of passes to try and set up an equaliser for his side.

Looking right at home, his presence on the wing shook Brisbane’s defence and suddenly Adelaide were looking threatening again. The fact he was on the pitch to witness Sergio Guardiola’s equaliser was a just reward for the youngster.

“It’s a different intensity,” Mileusnic said of the jump in standard from the National Premier League.

“I’m still trying to get used to it. At the start when I first came on it was alright, and after it was full on.

“Always sprinting, always getting back into position, it’s much faster than what I’ve been used to,” he said.

If his coach Guillermo Amor gives him more game time – which is likely – than he will get used to the A-League. If he can find the form which bagged him 16 goals in 23 caps for Adelaide City in the NPL, then he might be one of the answers to how Adelaide United turns its season around.

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