National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 4 outfit Hawkesbury City FC have hit a purple-patch of form after completing the signing of accomplished former A-League and Australian Youth international Pedj Bojic.
After overcoming the disastrous floods at their spiritual ground Bensons Lane earlier in the year, the Hawks struggled to get back in the swing of the season but when the club had the chance to sign a player of Bojic’s quality and stature, they seized the golden opportunity.
Hawkesbury City are yet to lose a match since Bojic’s arrival and have looked poised to making a strong run at a finals spot sitting just four points adrift of the top five.
After last playing for Sydney FC in the A-League in 2015, Boijic put his career on the backburner as he focused on his personal training business ‘Play Essentials’.
The former A-League Champion and former Northampton Town star started off the 2021 football season playing for Albion Park White Eagles in the Illawarra Premier League.
However when the mid-season transfer window opened, Bojic knew it was time to part ways and found his new home in Hawkesbury.
Hawkesbury City striker Marco Turpeinen, who trains with Bojic, offered the 37-year-old the opportunity to play alongside him upon hearing of his release from Albion Park.
“I heard he was playing in the Illawarra Premier League so I told him to come down to Hawkesbury. He eventually called my coach and came down and the rest is history.
“He is very fit, when he got put into the midfield he ran it, he was the engine, he was defending, attacking and getting assists, it really helped everyone out even with his verbal work its been great having here.
“They’re a good bunch of guys and he’s a good guy himself so they all get along really well, there’s always a bit of banter and he’s always there to help the boys.”
Hawkesbury City’s well adored coach Dean Bertenshaw has been ecstatic about the key signing, noting how grateful he was for Pedj helping out the club during a tough time.
“It just came up in conversation with Marco and he asked if we would be interested in singing Pedj, we said yes, we’d be mad not too.
“It was a positive first chat with Pedj.
“He rang us and wanted know where we were at and what the situation was as we were just coming out of the flood situation, it was of interest of him to try and give us a helping hand which showed great character from him.”
Bertenshaw credited the sacrifice that Bojic made noting the boost in the local community, he was also impressed with how seamlessly he has fit into the squad.
“The biggest thing I got out of his first game was when I asked how many minutes he wanted to play which he replied with, there’s 45 minutes left so that’s how long I want to play. I found that very encouraging to have that attitude, he was here to play and he wanted to play the whole game.
“He is a very important player in the position he is in now.
“We needed a regular partner to players like James Mawein to have that rock solid experience there with them makes a huge difference. The benefit is more to the players around him. The things that the boys are picking up off him on the field it’s invaluable and that’s where he’s worth his weight in gold.”
Pedj himself has enjoyed his time at Hawkesbury and credited the positive vibes from his teammates and coaches.
“The club is a nice place with humble people.
“I want to be around good people, there were other options around Sydney but my career now is more about enjoying football and giving back, Berto and the boys at Hawkesbury seem to be that perfect fit and I’m enjoying being here.
“With Hawkesbury there was Marco who I know quite well and just speaking to Berto, you knew in the first few minutes of speaking to a coach how you feel and the realism in people. He’s very honest which is something that you don’t get often in football, that was a big reason I signed, but there was a bit of a story with the floods, there’s a good connection with the fans and the players in a small local community so it’s good to be a part of.
“From the first session I met them it felt comfortable. I’ve been around multiple clubs here and overseas, a changeroom and the togetherness is very important at any form of football. The main thing that I noticed here was there was no talk back to each other or criticism, there is a lot of positivity and togetherness which is important.”
Bojic and the boys are looking forward to the return to the competition following the current lockdown that NSW is experience so the Hawks can make that final push for finals football that will surely bring the house down in the tight knit community that is Hawkesbury.
By NPL 4 NSW Men’s Reporter, Dominic Criniti (@DominicCriniti)