Eli Babalj

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Eli Babalj
Personal information
Full name Eli Babalj
Date of birth (1992-02-21) 21 February 1992 (age 23)
Place of birth Sarajevo, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.94 m (6 ft 4 12 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Adelaide United
(on loan from AZ Alkmaar)
Number 19
Youth career
2007–2008 FW NTC
2008–2009 Perth Glory
2009–2010 AIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2012 Melbourne Heart 35 (11)
2012–2013 Red Star Belgrade 6 (1)
2013 Melbourne Heart 9 (1)
2013– AZ 0 (0)
2015 PEC Zwolle (loan) 4 (0)
2015– Adelaide United (loan) 0 (0)
National team
2007–2009 Australia U17 8 (2)
2009–2011 Australia U20 11 (6)
2012– Australia 2 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 May 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11:07, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Eli Babalj (born 21 February 1992) is an Australian footballer who plays as a forward for Adelaide United, on loan from Eredivisie side AZ.

Club career[edit]

Born in Sarajevo, SFR Yugoslavia, Babalj has spent the majority of his life in Australia and started off playing with Perth SC. In 2008 he was signed by Perth Glory for their Youth League team. However he was signed by the AIS for the 2009–10 season in which the AIS came last, however Babalj managed to find the net 9 times.

Melbourne Heart[edit]

On 26 December it was announced that A-League expansion club Melbourne Heart had signed the then 17-year-old for their inaugural A-League 2010–11 season.[1] He made his debut for the club in a friendly against Geelong All Stars XL and also scored his first goal in that match.[2] He also took part in the friendly against Everton FC in which Heart lost 2–0.[3] He made his debut for Melbourne Heart in the opening round of the 2010–11 A-League season against Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park.[4] During May 2012 it was announced that Serbian side Red Star Belgrade was scouting him.[5]

Red Star Belgrade[edit]

On 7 June 2012 it was announced he had signed with Serbian Superliga contender Red Star Belgrade.[6][7] He made his debut on 31 August 2012, against Bordeaux in the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League play-off round. He scored his first goal on his league debut against FK Smederevo on 29 September 2012.

Melbourne Heart[edit]

Eli Babalj made his return appearance to the A-League for the Melbourne Heart away to the Western Sydney Wanderers on Australia Day, 26 January 2013 as a 2nd half substitution.

AZ[edit]

On 19 April 2013, Dutch club AZ Alkmaar completed the signing of Eli for a fee believed to be in the region of $200,000.[8]

Loan spell at PEC Zwolle[edit]

On 2 February 2015, Babalj was sent on loan at PEC Zwolle for the rest of the season.[9] Eli Babalj made his Eredivisie debut for PEC Zwolle at home to the Go Ahead Eagles on the 15th February 2015 as a 70th minute substitute for Maikel van der Werff.

Loan at Adelaide United[edit]

On 24 July 2015, Alkmaar confirmed that they would allow Babalj to go out on loan back to Australia to Adelaide United for the 2015-16 A-League season. This would be Guillermo Amor's first signing for Adelaide as the new manager. [10][11] Babalj made his debut for Adelaide United as a substitute in the 2015 FFA Cup in Darwin against Darwin Olympic. He also scored his first goal to help Adelaide to a 6-1 win.

International career[edit]

He has represented Australia at U-20 level during the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship qualification for the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship. He played in 4 qualification games, scoring 3 goals, against Singapore, and two against Chinese Taipei.[12] Babalj also represented Australia at the AFF U-19 Youth Championship. He scored against Vietnam and the winning goal in the final of the AFF U-19 Youth Championship against Thailand.[13] He made his debut for Australia's senior team on 14 November 2012 in a friendly against South Korea.[14] Babalj was selected in the Socceroo's squad for the East Asian Cup qualification round. He started his first game for Australia against Guam in a 9-0 win, scoring a double before being substituted.[15]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 8 December 2012 Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong  Guam 2–0 9–0 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup
2. 8 December 2012 Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong  Guam 4–0 9–0 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup

Career statistics[edit]

As of 28 August 2015
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Melbourne Heart 2010–11 A-League 13 2 0 0 0 0 13 2
2011–12 22 9 0 0 0 0 22 9
Melbourne Heart total 35 11 0 0 0 0 35 11
Red Star Belgrade 2012–13 SuperLiga 6 1 1 0 1 0 8 1
Melbourne Heart 2012–13 A-League 9 1 0 0 0 0 9 1
AZ Alkmaar 2013–14 Eredivisie 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2014–15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PEC Zwolle (loan) 2014–15 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Adelaide United (loan) 2015–16 A-League 0 0 2 1 0 0 2 1
Career total 54 13 3 1 1 0 58 14

Honours[edit]

Australia

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Giant striker Babalj has plenty of heart". Canberra Times. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Heart Overcome Energetic Eagles To Wrap Up Westpac Festival". Melbourne Heart FC. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Melbourne Heart show plenty of ticker in 2-0 loss to Everton". Herald Sun. 14 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Rielly, Stephen (6 August 2010). "Central Coast Mariners deny Melbourne Heart house-warming party". The Australian. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Ilija Babalj pred Marakanom at Kurir, retrieved 30-5-2012 (Serbian)
  6. ^ http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/melbourneheart/news-display/Heart-Confirms-Babalj-To-Red-Star-Transfer/47661
  7. ^ Red Star sign Australian hope Eli Babalj; Footballcracy, 8 June 2012
  8. ^ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/football/former-central-coast-striker-matt-simon-on-melbourne-hearts-radar/story-fndcvh7n-1226627351652
  9. ^ PEC Zwolle strikt bij AZ overbodige aanvaller, komst Necid uitgesloten (Dutch). Voetbalprimeur. 2 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Reds secure Babalj on season long loan". Adelaide United FC. 26 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "AZ verhuurt Babalj aan Adelaide United". AZ. 24 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Qantas Young Socceroos defeat Chinese Taipei". Football Federation Australia. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Young Socceroos Clinch AFF Title". Four Four Two. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  14. ^ [1] Zurnal (Serbian): Бабаљ умало стрелац за Кенгуре на дебију - 14 November 2012.
  15. ^ Sportske (Serbian) - Babalj dva puta u metu... 8 December 2012

External links[edit]