The man Vukovic credits for turning his career around
A couple of years ago Danny Vukovic could only dream of playing in one of Europe’s big club competitions.
But after a sensational first season abroad with Belgian club RKC Genk, the Caltex Socceroos gloveman will get that chance in this season’s Europa League.
MORE THAN PACE: Mabil on how Europe has changed him
Genk came through a tricky qualifying process last month to book their spot in the group stage of the competition, where they face Turkey’s Besiktas, Malmo of Sweden and Sarpsborg from Norway.
“It’s massive for me personally,” Vukovic told www.socceroos.com.au.
“Two years ago, I was playing in Australia and watching these sorts of games on TV, so now to have the chance to feature in these big matches is what I have dreamed of.
“We are in a group that we feel we can do well in. It’s not going to be easy though.
“While playing two games a week and traveling through Europe is going to be difficult, we feel that we have the team that can progress to the next stage.”
Genk has certainly made a strong start to the campaign, unbeaten in 11 matches in league and cup with nine wins and two draws.
And the 33-year-old has been instrumental in that run, keeping a number of clean sheets and making a string of fine saves along the way.
Being in camp in Turkey is also special for Vukovic, who reunited with Caltex Socceroos boss Graham Arnold, who he credits for saving his career.
“Arnie’s been massive for my career. I worked with him in the Olympic team early on in my career,” Vukovic explained.
“We crossed paths again at the Mariners and then at Sydney FC where he really turned my career around.
“I hit a bit of a roadblock in my career and wasn’t playing well and linked back up with him and he helped me turn my career around.
“From Sydney I managed to get a move overseas and managed to get back in this national team squad. I owe Arnie a lot.”
All eyes on Iraq for Morgan and Joeys following Korea Republic defeat
Joeys coach Trevor Morgan says Australia will regroup after going down 3-0 to Korea Republic on Saturday. Morgan’s side commenced their AFC U-16 Championship Malaysia 2018 campaign with a tough battle against their Group D rivals. It means the Joeys must beat Iraq tomorrow
Aussies Abroad: unbeaten records continue for Degenek and Vukovic
It was a case of mixed fortunes for our Aussies Abroad overnight. Milos Degenek flew the Australian flag in one of European football's most bitter rivalries, while there was an early hit-out for Trent Sainsbury and Aziz Behich in the Eredivisie title race. Here's our wrap o
Written in the Red Star: an incredible Serbian reunion for Milos Degenek
As a boy, Milos Degenek was inspired by the stories he was told of Red Star Belgrade and their heroics at the highest level of European football. It was the club he followed as a youngster, plying his trade in Australia – a country he moved to in the year 2000 after spending y
Aussies Abroad: Hibs romp home and a defeat in England
There were Aussies aplenty in action around the world last night, with mixed results here and clean sheets there. Here's our wrap of all the overnight action! MORE AUSSIES ABROAD: Rogic and Vukovic win in Europe MORE AUSSIES ABROAD: Degenek denies Napoli England: a di