Debut goal lifts Franjic

Brisbane Roar fullback Ivan Franjic has capped off a stop-start pre-season with the last thing many expected from him – a winning goal.

Brisbane Roar fullback Ivan Franjic has capped off a stop-start pre-season with the last thing many expected from him – a winning goal.

Plagued by a reoccurring hamstring injury, the 22-year-old was forced to watch the start of the club-s comprehensive pre-season from the sidelines.

But just like the attacking runs the defender makes downfield, Franjic was one hundred percent devoted to overcoming the setback and helping his team-mates prepare for the upcoming season.

And after solid hit-outs against Wellington Phoenix and Everton Football Club, Franjic sprung back from the early misery with his first goal in Brisbane colours against the Newcastle Jets in Port Macquarie.

It was just the tonic Franjic needed with the opening game of the 2010/11 Hyundai A-League against Queensland rivals Gold Coast United less than two weeks away.

“It has been a tough pre-season,” Franjic said. “Especially at the start with all the injuries, but now hopefully they-re all gone and I-m ready for the season.

“It was good to score but the main thing was that we won in our last pre-season game.”

A well taken penalty, Franjic said his first goal for the club was more about luck than planning, with the squad-s regular spot takers off the field.

“Reinaldo wasn-t playing and Henrique was off,” Franjic said.

“So I said ‘yeah I-ll take it- … and luckily I scored.”

With pre-season all but over, the squad has turned its attention down the M1 and towards the awaiting Gold Coast United.

Brisbane has yet to score a victory in the south-east Queensland derbies but Franjic said the players were motivated to start ‘returning the favour- on the glitter strip.

“The opening game against United is a big one especially after they won three times last year,” he said.

“Hopefully we can repeat the favour this year, especially starting with a win at their home ground.

“And we hope there will be a lot of orange in the stadium.”

But before dreams of victory turn to reality at Skilled Park, the players are readying themselves for one of the biggest social occasions of the year – the club-s annual Family Fun Day.

A great way to mingle with the club-s loyal fans, the Family Fun Day is a free festival of rides, competitions, face-painting and giveaways and one which the players look forward to throughout pre-season.

“The Family Fun Day should be exciting and we hope a lot of our fans turn-out,” Franjic said.

Entry to the Family Fun Day is free and will run from 10am to 2.30pm, with food, drink and the latest merchandise on sale.

Brisbane players will be appearing from noon.

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