Ugarkovic thriving after return to roots in Western Sydney

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Baulkham Hills local Steven Ugarkovic transferred to Western Sydney Wanderers in 2021 following a six-year run with Newcastle Jets where he made 135 appearances and scored nine goals in the domestic league.

While returning to his hometown was a big attraction, he also felt the move was one that would push him forwards on the pitch.

“I wanted a bit of a different challenge. I moved to challenge myself as a player,” Ugarkovic said.

“I think it was the right club to come to and the right time to come to the Wanderers. I love being at the club, such a professional set-up.”

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Being closer to home, however, is bittersweet for the Croatian-Australian midfielder as Newcastle had earned a firm place in his heart.

Not everything about his move has been a fresh start though, as he has worked with coach Carl Robinson previously whilst with the Jets.

Ugarkovic believes that he is being challenged by his coach and teammates and in turn playing at his best.

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“I’m at a point where I’m really loving my football and really enjoying it. Playing week in, week out consistently, that’s the goal,” he said.

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Although Western Sydney have had a rough start to the season with the team’s play not being to the desired standard, Ugarkovic is encouraged by their performance against Melbourne City last Sunday.

While they squandered an early 2-0 lead, they showed fight to equalise themselves in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

“We’ve just got to build on that and perform more consistently,” he said.

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Things may start to take a turn for the red and black with teammates reaching full fitness and familiarity with each other increasing.

Ugarkovic is hopeful the Wanderers are ready to rise after early stumbles.

“We’re in a position where it’s up to us and we’re ready to step up,” he said.

Feature image: Steve Christo

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Paloma Darjani
Covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2021/22 season. Studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney.

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