Jets' rookie goal hero targets professional deal

Rookie Newcastle striker Radovan Pavicevic is after more goals after breaking his duck in the A-League last weekend and wants to nail down a professional contract.

In just his second A-League match, Pavicevic came off the bench after 55 minutes against Brisbane Roar and scored to tie the game up at 1-1.

The 19-year old out-paced Corey Brown to the ball in the 72nd minute, rounded keeper Michael Theo and showed a cool head to tuck the ball home.

“I was pretty happy to make my home debut but to top it off with a goal, it was probably the best feeling,” Pavicevic told FourFourTwo.

“The best moment of my football career so far. It sucks about the result but what can you do.”

Reliving his goal Pavicevic said: “It was a long ball that was deflected and the defender, I don’t know if he was trying to take a touch, but I ran on to it and I got past the keeper.

“I couldn’t hit it in because the ball got caught under my feet, I got a bit lucky with the tackle that popped up, and from then on I just found a little gap between the defenders and slotted it in. Goals are always nice, hopefully I can get many more to come.”

Pavicevic has only played 74 minutes in the A-League after making his debut the weekend before as a substitute in Newcastle’s 7-0 mauling by Adelaide United.

“It was a great experience even though we lost, there was a lot to take out of it,” he said.

“I thought I played pretty well, considering the scoreline.”

A western Sydney local and Marconi junior, Pavicevic joined the Jets three years ago.

The forward has been a regular in Newcastle’s National Youth League set-up, scoring nine goals for the club’s youth team in 2013-2014.

Seven months ago Pavicevic suffered a horrific injury playing for the Jets’ youth side in the Northern NSW Football Federation’s NPL when he broke his arm after crashing through the fencing in a match against South Cardiff.

“I got pushed and went through the seats,” Pavicevic said.

“The fence was really close to the field and I went into the seat first and I snapped my left humerus pretty badly and I had a bit of nerve damage as well. I couldn’t lift my wrist or fingers – for a good five, six months I couldn’t lift it.

“It was pretty tough but the club helped me out a lot.

“All the staff made it a lot easier for me and my mum and dad obviously helped me out quite a bit as well. The physio did a ton of work on it.”

Despite the long lay-off and surgery, which required 12 screws and a plate being inserted, the teenager never thought of giving football away.

“I always had my mind set on coming back,” he said.

“I never thought for a second that that was it. I always had it in my head to come back stronger.”

Now that he has made his A-League debut Pavicevic’s target is to earn a professional deal and more minutes in the first-team this season.

“I’m only on a youth-team contract so I’m working towards getting myself an A-League spot, an A-League contract,” he said.

“That’s definitely my main goal for now. That’s something that I’ve been aiming for since I came back from my injury. I’ve just got to keep working hard at training and take my opportunities as they come.”

Newcastle host Western Sydney at Hunter Stadium on Saturday in a bottom-of-the table clash. Pavicevic says the Jets are ready to bounce back from the last-minute loss to the Roar on Friday.

“The Wanderers are going to be boosted, they got their first win,” he said.

“They’ll want to continue their form but in saying that we played some really good football last weekend and we’ll be looking to do the exact same. Looking to get our first win of the new year.

“It’s never nice to lose like that but that’s football I guess. We’ve trained pretty well this week and all the boys are pretty determined to get the three points this weekend.”