Even as a young boy, Tomi Juric loved to score goals. Now he’s doing it for the Caltex Socceroos and will be gunning for a few more at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
BORN TO PLAY UP FRONT
The Sydney-raised striker, now playing his club football in Switzerland, can trace his love of busting the net all the way back to his first involvement in the game.
“When you watch young kids play, you always see them in a bunch, but I wasn't in that bunch,” the striker told www.socceroos.com.au
“I was always up front waiting for the ball to come out!
“I wouldn't be running around; I'd just be waiting there and always around the goal.
“Growing up, I enjoyed taking that responsibility of trying to score goals,” he remembered.
TOMI’S TRIBUTE TO DAD’S DEDICATION
As Juric developed and it became obvious he was destined for more than just the playing fields of Sydney, it was his father who had the biggest influence on him.
“I was inspired by my Dad – he was the main idol for me,” said Juric.
“He never really got the opportunity to play because he gave everything for me and my younger brother to try and play football.
“He lived his dream through us.
“When he played, he was a striker who scored goals as well – we used to watch him play on Sundays.
“Nowadays as I'm living the dream he really enjoys it and takes a lot of pride from it,” smiled Juric.
SWISS MOVE PAYS DIVIDENDS
Two years with Western Sydney Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League were followed by a season in the Netherlands with Roda JC.
Juric then moved to Switzerland last year and hit the net 11 times in 33 league and cup matches for Luzern.
“A big part of that is finding some consistent game time now, which I haven't had in the past,” said Juric.
“That has been missing in my game - just to be consistent.
“Sometimes you might have a bad game but coming into the next one you have to pick yourself up and find your feet again.
“That's been the trick for me - after playing a bad game, trying to find a way to start again and making sure it doesn't happen again so you don't fall into a rut or a bad run of form.
“Now that I've had that consistent game time and been injury-free, it's been really good for me.
“It's something I didn't have in the past.”
MORE GOALS COMING FOR AUSTRALIA’S NUMBER NINE
Having scored twice in Australia’s vital 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over Saudi Arabia, the 25-year old is looking forward to adding to his 23 caps and six international goals at the Confederations Cup.
“A lot of people tell me [striker] is the hardest position to play and hardest job to do but when you enjoy it like I do, I see it as an easy job,” Juric said.
“I making it sound like it's nothing and it is difficult, but when you enjoy something it makes it easier for you.
“I'm trying to take every opportunity that I get and make the best of it.
“Hopefully every time I get that chance, I'm ready to take it.
“We all know how many changes there have been in the squad - the boss has been broadening the squad and good players have come in and done a good job for us.
“Every opportunity I get is something I really try to grab onto and make sure I'm playing every game for the Socceroos,” he said.