Juric sets winning mentality at Penrith Nepean United


Veteran stopper Ante Juric has played a large part in United?s early season success and the reason is simple ? he came to CUA Stadium with a winning mentality.
?Every game I play I want to win,? he said.
?When I first came here the culture was a bit negative, the attitude was there but it was almost accepted that being competitive was good enough.
?That isn?t how I play, each time I step out onto the pitch I want to come off with three points.
?As we have started to collect points over the past few weeks the boys are now beginning to believe in themselves and have grown in stature.
 ?A semi final finish isn?t out of our reach if we can maintain our consistency.
?Full credit to Abbas Saad, to be honest I was thinking about hanging up the boots but I have known him (Saad) for many years and he asked me to come to Penrith as a favour and I am really enjoying my football.
?I had been with Sydney United since the NSL folded and before that I spent a decade at Sydney Olympic, so maybe a change was what I needed anyway.
?Guys like Nathan Ralph and Nik Tsattalios are playing with an abundance of confidence and it?s great to watch them develop.?
Juric grew up in the Nations Capital and after earning his stripes with Canberra Deakin in the state league was offered a spot in the AIS as a teenager before being selected for the Young Socceroos alongside the likes of Craig Moore and Kevin Muscat.
In the early 1990?s he linked up with the Melbourne Knights and spent two seasons playing alongside Mark Viduka, who he still rates as the best player he has played with or against.
?Even as a young bloke you could tell he was going to be pretty special, he was a class above and it has been no surprise to see him carve out such a great career, playing in different leagues across the world,? he said.
?Being of Croatian heritage it was an honour to play for the Knights and I believe I played some of my best football in my time there.
?I then moved to Sydney and signed with Olympic and spent ten years or so with the club sandwiched in between stints in Norway, Malaysia and Portugal.
?My highlight with Olympic would have to be the grand final win over Perth Glory at Subiaco Oval.
?To silence 45,000 fans was fantastic – that night and the celebrations that followed isn?t something I will forget in a hurry.?
Currently the Director of Football at Trinity College in Summer Hill, Juric also teaches Physical Education but has a burning desire to coach at the elite level in the coming years.
?I have completed my B Licence and I would love to move into fulltime coaching, be it juniors, men or women, it?s a matter of finding what I really want to do.
?Olympic offered me the first grade coaching position a few years ago but I was still playing.
?With the success of the A League since its inception I would love to coach at that level but I know it won?t happen overnight.
?If you look at the coverage these days in the media soccer is all over the news each night, in the papers and online.
?Back when I was playing in the NSL we were lucky to get a thing in the press – the game is flying now and you would be crazy not to want a slice of the action.
?But I am not getting too far ahead of myself; my priorities at the moment are passing on my experience to the boys at Penrith, enjoying my football and spending time with my family.?

 – Andrew Hurrell