Tomi Juric says he’s in no rush to move abroad and has hinted he could follow the same path as ex-Socceroo Brett Emerton and develop further in the Hyundai A-League before moving to Europe.
Juric was still on a high from the Socceroos Asian Cup triumph on Tuesday when he helped launch a new Football Federation Australia program – Mini Roos - a new grassroots football initiative for Australian kids.
The Western Sydney Wanderers striker turned down a lucrative offer from China during the tournament preferring to stay in the Hyundai A-League and wait for the “right” move.
It’s a decision that was backed by Emerton, who played three seasons in the NSL with Sydney Olympic before heading to Dutch giants Feyenoord after the 2000 Olympic Games.
This move laid the platform for Emerton's successful and long stint in the EPL with Blackburn.
“It’s definitely the right way to go about things in my view,” Juric said on Tuesday.
“You have to sharpen all the tools in the shed before you can take on a job that’s a challenge.
“If the tools in the shed aren’t sharp enough you aren’t going to succeed as well as you can.
“I think a path like that is the right way to go about things and it could be my path as well.”
Off-contract at the end of the current season, Juric is likely to move on and his reputation will only be enhanced from his performances in the Asian Cup.
The 23-year-old set up the match-winning goal for James Troisi by producing a classy back-heel past a defender and dangerous cross which was spilled by the keeper.
While he could get big-money by moving to a club in Asia, Juric wants to go somewhere to improve as a player to help him remain a Socceroos mainstay.
"It's important to keep playing football and go to an environment where I'll keep improving," he said.
"It's important to assess all options. When I look at the big picture, it's about keeping the Socceroos' shirt on.
"I have to go to or stay at a place which is the right place for me to do that.
“…I just didn’t think (the China move) was the right thing for myself. It wasn’t the right move for me. I feel it’s important to keep playing some football and go to an environment where I will keep improving as a player and to keep my career as a Socceroo even more alive.”
Following a similar path to Emerton can’t be a bad thing for Juric, given how successful he was.
The winger left Feyenoord for EPL club Blackburn and spent almost a decade there, as well as playing in two World Cups in 95 caps for the Socceroos.
And Emerton hopes more players establish themselves in the A-League before trying their luck abroad.
"Everyone is different, but before you even think about going to Europe you have to be here playing in Australia and be a player in the A-League who’s at the top for at least a couple of years before moving to a big European club.” Emerton said.
"When you do make the move, you want to make sure you're going to play regular football. If you're not playing you’re not going to develop.
“If you’re not one of the best here in the A-League then how do you expect to go there and play in the bigger and better leagues in the world?
“The great thing about football in this country now is we have the A-League and young kids are probably dreaming of playing for Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC rather than that big dream move overseas.”