JOHOR BARU: All is well with Johor FC’s new signing Ivan Zelic and the team heaved a big sigh of relief after seeing the Australian come good in a friendly match against Negri Sembilan, which ended in a 1-1 draw at the Nusa Mutiara Sports Complex in Kangkar Tebrau on Saturday.
Johor FC’s newly-appointed coaching and technical director Ronald Smith was all smiles over Smith’s performance. There had been concerns over the health of Zelic, who contracted a chest infection last week.
The Sydney Olympic player had also come to Johor Baru after having missed a major part of the Australian National Football League because of a fracture in his right foot.
Zelic was also pleased with his overall performance in the match against Premier II’s Negri, which was played on a wet and heavy pitch.
“There were three things that encouraged me. One was the doctor’s report on my X-ray which showed that there was nothing serious in the chest infection even though I had difficulty in breathing,” said Zelic, who was earlier told that he may be suffering from asthma.
“I was also very encouraged by the fans who turned up to watch us play.
“Finally, I played without any problem from my injured right foot. I broke two bones in Australia, which kept me out for a major part of the season.
“The injury has healed completely and I can only get better. I am ready to play in any position in the team.”
Said Smith: “Ivan is a very skilful player but I must admit that he was a bit rusty.
“I am confident that he will give the team more strength and play a prominent role.”
Johor FC will kick off their campaign in Premier I with three away matches, – against last year’s Premier II champions Kedah on Feb 15, Malacca Telekom on Feb 22 and against Sarawak on March 1.