Young Socceroo wants another shot at A-League

Young Socceroo Dejan Pandurevic is after another crack at professional football after a disappointing stint with Central Coast Mariners.

Pandurevic joined the Mariners in January at the age of 17 but left the club at the end of the 2014/2015 campaign without making a first-team experience.

Before that the teenager spent time with the Nike Academy in the UK last year but could not get a work permit and returned to Australia.

Now he has re-joined Manly United and was recently part of Paul Okon’s team that qualified for the 2016 AFC Under-19 Championships.

“It was disappointing that I didn't get much of an opportunity, but sometimes in football things like that can happen and leaving the Mariners helped me learn and develop a lot as a footballer,” Pandurevic told FourFourTwo.

“I’d love to get back into the A-League, but my goal is to play at a higher level…. I want to sign another professional contract whether it be in the A-League or in Europe, I'm keeping my opportunities open.”

Pandurevic has thrived since returning to Manly United, bagging four goals in 15 appearances in the NPL 1 NSW. The attacker, who hails from Collaroy, started with the northern beaches club as a junior before breaking into the Manly United first-team as a 15-year old.

He left for the Nike Academy in 2014 and played for the Mariners’ National Youth League team in 2013/2014.

“My time at Manly has been amazing,” Pandurevic said.

“I started out at the club when I was just nine and ever since they've supported me and helped develop me as a footballer.

“The lads are great and Pauly is a great coach who has high standards set for the team and club.”

Pandurevic can play as an attacking midfield or up front in a more forward role.

“My preferred position would be as a 10, but I love playing 9 as well and I have been playing it for a while now,” he said.

The 18-year old recently returned to Sydney after playing with the Young Socceroos in Malaysia. Pandurevic came off the bench to score in the team’s 6-0 rout of the Philippines.

“My experience with the Young Socceroos was unforgettable,” the playmaker said.

“To be able to represent your country is everything a player dreams to do. At first I was a little nervous, but wearing the national team jersey was a proud feeling and a dream come true for me.

“I was happy how I played, I got my first international goal and we got the job done. I came on with about 10 minutes to go and we wanted to score more goals to get our goal difference up.

“I worked very hard from the second I came on and when the opportunity came to score I finished it.”

The Young Socceroos also defeated Laos 2-0 in the tournament but crashed 3-0 to Japan in their final group game. Despite that loss the team has qualified for the 2016 Asian Championships, which will be held in Bahrain.

“The team’s performance as a whole was great,” Pandurevic said.

“We played our style of football and we played for each other, we were unlucky against Japan.”

(Photo - ccmariners.com.au)