Macarthur FC Bulls head coach Ante Milicic now has an even dozen in his squad after snaring the signature of Sydney born defender Aleksandar Jovanovic.
The towering 196cm stopper, who has plied his trade in both Europe and Asia, has never played professionally in Australia.
Now he is set to make his mark in his own backyard after signing a two year deal with the A-League newcomers.
Jovanovic’s football career began with APIA Leichardt before joining Parramatta FC in 2006 and leaving Australian shores in 2007.
After time spent with Serbian SuperLiga club Vojvodina, he headed to BEC Tero Sasana FC in the Thai Premier League and Suwon City FC in the K-League 2 competition.
He then found a home in the South Korean K-League 1 with Jeju United in 2014.
Jovanovic, pictured below, also spent a year at Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda in 2016, making 23 appearances.
Flying largely under the radar, Jovanovic, 30, is one of Australia’s most successful exports to the tough Korean K-League, registering more than 100 matches for Jeju United over two separate stints.
A free agent after the expiry of his Jeju United contract, Jovanovic joins the Bulls following a five-month deal with leading Bosnian club FK Zeljeznicar Sarajevo.
“After speaking with Ante about Macarthur FC, I knew this was an exciting opportunity to play football back in front of my family,” the giant centre-back said.
“I’m looking forward to building something special with Macarthur FC. To be part of a club’s inaugural season is something very few players get to experience. I want to be part of history; it feels like a homecoming.
“The K-League is an extremely tough competition and has given me the opportunity to test myself against some of the best players in the world, not only in Korea but also in the AFC Champions League.
“To bring that experience to Macarthur is something I am really looking forward to,” Jovanovic said.
Coach Ante Milicic said he had been monitoring Jovanovic’s progress for many years.
“He has that old school footballing mentality and will add great strength to our backline,’’ says Milicic.
“His height and awareness around the box will be valuable both in defence and attack.”
- The Macarthur FC Bulls squad assembled so far is made up of Aleksandar Jovanovic, Moudi Najjar, Jake Hollman, Aleksandar Susnjar, Milislav Popovic, Denis Genreau, Nick Suman, Adam Federici, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar, Ivan Franjic and Matt Derbyshire.