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.

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Kolak's agent spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald, "The vice-president of the federation came down to the club and they just spotted (Kolak) at a coaching clinic down at Sydney United's ground.

"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 ‘poaching' 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."

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