Attention A-League, Duro Dragicevic has not given up.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper had to cut short a fully-paid sport scholarship at Arizona Western College in the US due to Covid, but has made an immediate impact back home in Queensland.
The shot-stopper helped Redcliffe’s Peninsula Power to the NPL premiership last season and is well on his way to helping Brisbane City to the FQPL title this year.
“I have never given up or stopped,” Dragicevic said of his dream to play professionally.
“Playing college in America, there were opportunities to play professionally over there.
“I was living on campus, playing football on a scholarship - it was the dream. But Covid obviously made things pretty difficult and I decided to come home.
“I’m still knocking on the door and seeing what opportunities arise.”
Dragicevic’s football journey began as a youngster at Runaway Bay, coached by his father.
He followed the path all the way to a World Cup with the Australian U17s team in Chile in 2015.
Stints with Sydney FC and Arizona followed, now Dragicevic is back on the Gold Coast and has started a Bachelor of Project Management at Bond University.
“It was a surreal feeling representing Australia. There was so much hard work and dedication that went into it, I’ll cherish that for the rest of my life.”
The born-and-bred Gold Coaster had a stellar year helping Brisbane City earn promotion to the NPL in an undefeated season.
Brisbane City won the premiership with a 4-1 win in the grand final, meaning they finished the season with an unblemished 22-0 record.
“Brisbane has a proud history and definitely deserve to be playing in the NPL, it’s good to be part of the club,” he said.