Anton Mlinarić returns to Brisbane Roar on permanent deal

Anton Mlinarić will be back in Brisbane Roar colours next season after turning his loan spell into a permanent deal with the club.

The 20-year-old defender has officially agreed to remain in orange as he looks to further establish himself at Isuzu UTE A-League level.

Having arrived from Sydney FC part way through the last pre-season, Mlinarić said he was pleased to confirm his Roar return well ahead of the new campaign.

“It’s relaxing. It’s good that I can come into pre-season with no worries,” the centre-back said.

“The boys and the camaraderie we have – even though the season wasn’t what we planned for – that was a big part of [coming back].

“All the younger boys and the older boys too to learn from, like Jay and Tommy and Nevs, who all had a good season.

“That was a major part of it, 100 per cent.”

Photo: Andrew Hudson

An Australia Under-17 international, Mlinarić made 11 appearances last season as he transitioned into senior first-team football.

He will have the chance to gain more experience when the Roar meet Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Leeds United in July’s Queensland Champions Cup.

Mlinarić will undergo a minor meniscus operation before then but expects to be fully fit for both matches, with the squad due to report back for training in mid-June.

“It’s a quick turnaround which is good,” he said.

“Everyone likes a break but then you get bored and just want to come back in. Those games against Leeds and Aston Villa, especially for us young boys, are a once in a lifetime opportunity, although hopefully a few of us can play them again down the track.

“It will be a good test for us.”