Andrija gets Roar No.9


New Roar striker Andrija Kaluderovic was today presented with the club’s No.9 jersey and revealed he will be known in the Hyundai A-League as “Andrija”.’

“I’ve scored a lot of goals in my career and I will continue to do that with Brisbane Roar,” Andrija said.

“I have played in the past with Andrija on my back, and sometimes with the No.99, so this is a good fit for me.”

Andrija, 27, a Serbian international, will be introduced to the Roar fans at Suncorp Stadium tonight prior to the club’s Hyundai A-League match against Wellington Phoenix, which kicks off at 7pm.

Roar interim coach Frans Thijssen said Andrija would not be in the Roar starting line-up.

“He needs time to acclimatise. He needs time to get to know the players,” Thijssen said.

“Every player says they are ready to go and they always want to play but it is the coach’s role to assess the situation and it is not the best thing for Andrija to play straight away in a home game when he still has jet lag.”

Andrija trained with the Roar for the first time yesterday and did another session early today.

“The first impressions are very good. We have a good feeling with Andrija. He will do very well for the club,” Thijssen said.

Andrija has played three times for Serbia at full international level and six times for his country’s under-23 and under-21 teams.

He scored 19 goals in 43 appearances for Red Star Belgrade and most recently has been playing in Switzerland with Super League side FC Thun.

Andrija is the third signing made by the Roar in the January transfer window. Also recruited were German fullback Jerome Polenz, who could start tonight, and former Socceroo defender Luke DeVere

But the Roar tonight will be without injured players Henrique (calf) and Dimitri Petratos (knee).

Thijssen said his players had worked extremely hard during the three-week AFC Asian Cup break.

“It is disappointing when you lose players to injury but great to see others coming back into the squad,’’ Thijssen said.

“They have worked hard as a group and I can see plenty of fighting spirit. It will be a very different team on the park tonight than the last time against Wellington.”