Former Central Coast Mariners head coach Lawrie McKinna is of the belief that Mile Jedinak has thoroughly deserved his opportunity to play in the Premier League.
The 29-year old Australian midfielder led Crystal Palace back into England’s top flight with an impressive performance in their 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham on Sunday and received some very kind words from his former club coach.
“He deserves it – it just shows what you can do when you work hard enough, and Mile has worked harder than most,” McKinna told the Daily Telegraph.
“I remember his first full game was against the Jets, on a short-term contract in a pre-season game, and some people at the club weren’t impressed with him.
“But week by week he got better and better, and became an increasingly important part of the side. By the time he left to go to Turkey [in January 2009] we were sitting second or third in the table and I don’t think we won a game after he left that season, got knocked out of the finals in the first round.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the boy and what’s achieved – he just kept knocking on our door, and he hasn’t stopped since all the way to the top,” he added.
“He’s got that hunger and he’s a winner – he works really hard and he’s got a lot more skill than people give him credit for.”
Jedinak played under McKinna between 2006 and 2009 before heading to Turkey with Genclerbirligi, which included a loan spell at Antalyaspor, prior to his 2011 shift to Selhurst Park.