Ex-Brisbane Roar striker Andrija Kaluderovic joins Wellington Phoenix
Wellington Phoenix striking recruit Andrija Kaluderovic is aiming for the stars after signing on for an A-League return, saying he wants to lift the side to their best-ever finish in 2017-18.
The three-cap Serbia international and ex-Brisbane Roar frontman signed a one-year deal to move to the Kiwi capital on Tuesday.
Something of a career journeyman, the 30-year-old Kaluderovic spent time in Serbia, China, Spain and Switzerland before landing at the Roar for a six-month stint in early 2015, scoring seven goals in 16 games.
A penalty-box poacher, he joins the Nix from Thai club Port FC and will form a potent attacking quartet alongside Roy Krishna, Gui Finkler and Dario Vidosic.
With new coach Darije Kalezic at the helm and five new recruits, including Vidosic and Croatian enforcer Goran Paracki, it's hoped the Nix can finally compete for an A-League crown, two years since their last playoff tilt.
The club has never finished higher than fourth in their 10 seasons in the A-League, or progressed to a Grand Final.
123 - Andrija Kaluderovic scored a goal every 123 minutes in A-League 2014/15, the fourth most frequent of any player (min. 350mins). Burst. pic.twitter.com/xhG7rAVD4Q— OptaJason (@OptaJason) August 15, 2017
"I heard about the good ambitions of the club this year -- the plan is that we'll have the best results in the history of the club. Everyone wants this, and I have this ambition too," Kaluderovic told reporters.
"I have interest to show myself in this league because, before, I didn't have a big opportunity -- only six months I stayed [at Brisbane].
"It's not as technical as playing in Spain or Switzerland but every year it's growing, getting better and better."
Kalezic -- who now has a full 23-man roster, but has one visa spot remaining -- said Kaluderovic would need to hit the ground running for the Nix, with the Wellingtonians to start their campaign against Adelaide on Oct. 8.
He expected his new No. 9 to fit snugly into the Nix system.
"He's a team player -- a typical striker who's always looking to make goals," Kalezic said.
"[He's] also a player who's able to play with his back to the goal of the opponent, keep the ball and play attractive combination football."