Sydney soccer developing talent for Croatia
Edensor Park, home to Sydney United, is a noted breeding ground for Australian-Croatians and the Croatian Football Federation want a piece of the action.
Vice-president of the CFF, Ivan Brlekovic has recently been in Sydney looking for prospective talent and was impressed with a 16-year old goalkeeper Robert Kolak. So impressed that he invited Kolak to Croatia.
"He liked him, so they actually flew him over there and he went over initially to just check it out and open up his eyes to a different country and the way they do things over there. (Croatia) really likes him. They've chased him hard."
The âpoaching' process could potentially hurt Australia's national squads at all age levels and Olyroos coach Graham Arnold is not too happy with the situation.
"I don't agree with it and it's disappointing to hear it," he said. "A lot of good Australian-Croatian players have come through Sydney United, or Sydney Croatia, and a lot have gone on to represent Australia, and have made the club of Sydney Croatia proud.
"We've always been threatened with Australian-Croatian players leaving and going to play for Croatia, but a lot of them, at the end of the day, are either Australian or Croatian."