Nik Mrdja

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Nik Mrdja
Nik Mrdja.jpg
Mrdja with Central Coast Mariners in 2009
Personal information
Full name Nikola Mrdja[1]
Date of birth (1978-11-30) 30 November 1978 (age 38)
Place of birth Perth, Australia
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Bayswater City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997 Bayswater City
1998 Kingsway
1998–1999 Canberra Cosmos 3 (0)
2000 Perth SC 6 (2)
2000–2004 Perth Glory 73 (25)
2004 AIK 12 (2)
2005–2011 Central Coast Mariners 48 (12)
2010 Melbourne Victory (loan) 3 (1)
National team
2007 Australia 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Nikola "Nik" Mrdja (born 30 November 1978) is an Australian former football (soccer) player, who played as a striker.[1]

Born in Perth, Mrdja had a career spanning several National Soccer League and A-League clubs from 1998 to 2011, as well as a brief spell in Sweden with AIK in 2004.

Mrdja made one appearance for Australia, in a friendly against Argentina in 2007.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Mrdja scored a golden goal for Perth Glory in the final of the 2003–04 National Soccer League against Parramatta Power in the last match of the NSL.[2]

Central Coast Mariners[edit]

In December 2004, Mrdja signed with Central Coast Mariners to play in the newly-formed A-League.[3] In the Mariners first competitive fixture, an F3 Derby against the Newcastle Jets in qualification for the 2005 OFC Club Championship, Mrdja broke opposing defender Andrew Durante's leg with a tackle late in extra time.[4] The incident subsequently gained prominence as a sparking point for the clubs' rivalry.[5] On the field, Mrdja's early form for the Mariners was strong. In the club's next game against Adelaide United, Mrdja scored a hat-trick, sealing progress to the qualification final.[6] He scored another hat-trick in a 2005 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup win over Queensland Roar.[7]

However, soon after Mrdja suffered a knee injury causing him to miss the entire 2005–06 A-League season, eventually returning early in the 2006–07 season.[8] His first goal in the A-League came from a direct free kick in a win over New Zealand Knights on 19 November 2006.[9] Mrdja's knee injury continued to be an issue, and saw him miss much of the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons.[10]

Melbourne Victory[edit]

In February 2010, with the Mariners out of contention for the 2009–10 A-League finals, Mrdja was released by the Mariners and signed a short term deal with Melbourne Victory to play in the final rounds of the A-League and in the 2010 AFC Champions League, as an injury replacement for Billy Celeski. At the same time, he signed a deal to play for the Mariners again in the 2010–11 season.[11] The unusual nature of the move, despite being valid within the rules, created significant controversy, given its lateness in the season and the ban on direct loans between A-League clubs.[12] The issue, and subsequent public controversy, prompted a review of the A-League's transfer rules by Football Federation Australia.[13]

Mrdja made his debut for the Victory on 5 February 2010, coming on as a halftime substitute in a win over North Queensland Fury, in the second-last round of the 2009–10 A-League regular season.[14] He scored his first goal for the club two weeks later, in a win in the first leg of the major semifinal against Sydney FC, before being sent off later in the match for elbowing Shannon Cole.[15] Mrdja received a two-game suspension for the incident, which eventually saw him miss the 2010 A-League Grand Final.[16]

Mrdja retired from professional football at the end of the 2010–11 season.[17]

International career[edit]

Mrdja was called up to the Australian national team for the first time in September 2007 for a friendly against Argentina, after an injury ruled out Scott McDonald and following Mrdja's good form in the A-League.[18] In the game, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Mrdja made his debut as a substitute in the 82nd minute, coming on for Joshua Kennedy in a 1–0 defeat.[19]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Perth Glory
Central Coast Mariners

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.aik.se/fotboll/aikindex.html?/fotboll/historik/500aikare/nikmrdja.html
  2. ^ "Mrjda wins it for Glory". The World Game. 4 April 2004. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Lynch, Michael (15 December 2004). "Player drain as Victory delays". The Age. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Cockerill, Michael (9 May 2005). "A-League's new order hits the spot, but fans take time to catch on". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Danvers, Greg (15 August 2008). "Siblings face off in epic A-league opener". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Cockerill, Michael (12 May 2005). "It's Mrdja as Mariners sink Adelaide". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Mrdja hat-trick seals win". The World Game. 24 July 2005. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Mrdja back for Mariners". The World Game. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Mariners on the move after downing Knights". ABC News. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Mrdja and Osman return to the fold". Football NSW. 12 May 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "Mrdja makes Melbourne move". 5 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  12. ^ Airs, Kevin (8 February 2010). "Mrdja's Odyssey is a move too far". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "Mrdja switch backlash prompts FFA review". ABC News. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "El Zorro the hero for Victory". FourFourTwo. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "Victory don't get away with Mrdja". FourFourTwo. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  16. ^ Hand, Guy (23 February 2010). "Mrdja's ban may include Grand Final". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "Mariners sign Baird from Glory". ABC News. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  18. ^ Chiarelli, Simon (7 September 2007). "Mrdja gets the Socceroos nod". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "Argentina get home against gallant Australia". Football Federation Australia. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 

External links[edit]