Mijatovic’s path to becoming the first Serbian player in the W-League

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With limited opportunities to play professionally in her country Serbia, Melbourne City forward Milica Mijatovic has forged a successful career playing abroad.

In doing so, she became the first Serbian to play in the W-League.

“In Serbia, our championship and female soccer in general is not of the best level,” Mijatovic said.

“There are not many professional clubs and professional environments.”

Mijatovic has overcome her country’s professional football limitations with the support of family and a willingness to play abroad for the last few years.

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“I had huge support from my family and all of my coaches,” she said.

“They pushed me through all the difficulties and all the obstacles.

“I played in Kazakhstan, I played in France, then Sweden, then Norway and here I am in Melbourne.”

The forward views her decision to come to City as the perfect opportunity to play in an elite competition that will propel her towards the highest ranks of European football.

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“It was a great opportunity for me to come and play in such a league and in the really good and professional environment we have here at Melbourne City,” she said.

For Mijatovic, growing up in Serbia taught her a distinctive style of play: a fierce attack on the ball while making her presence felt in the front third of the field.

“Many of the good players from the Balkans, both men and women, have a similar style of playing as my own,” she said.

“I think all of the coaches I had throughout my career from Serbia influenced it.”

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Mijatovic has played a crucial role in City’s undefeated start to the season.

She has been a dominant force up front, scoring four goals in nine appearances.

The forward believes the environment at City has brought out the best in her. By improving her offensive play to the point she said she could play top-flight football in Europe.

“I’ve improved a lot playing in the last third in terms of key passes, assists and scoring,” she said.

“Hopefully this will take me to a better club in Europe.”

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Until then a championship with City remains firmly on her agenda.

“The goals are winning the league and winning the finals,” she said.

“We have a really mature group and a really good mixture of quality players which allows us to play and win almost every game.”

Feature image credit: Melbourne City FC

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Michael Patane
Student at Monash University and lover of all things football covering Melbourne City in 2019/20.