Pericic keen to say thank you as he departs Balestier

Robert Pericic has been released by Balestier Khalsa, but the striker was keen to share with FourFourTwo that there are no hard feelings before he started making his way back to Croatia... 

Balestier Khalsa's former striker Robert Pericic had only words of thanks for the Tigers as he returned to Croatia on Monday evening.

Pericic was released by Balestier after failing to make a single appearance this season, sidelined by a series of frustrating knee problems.

I understand the club needs a player as soon as possible to climb up the table and that’s why they released me

The striker, who scored 10 goals in 28 appearances for Balestier last year, said he was well on his way to recovery but he understood why the club chose not to wait for him to return to full fitness.

“This year unfortunately started really bad for me with my knee problem. I had to have a minor microfracture surgery and it needed time to heal,” Pericic said in a statement to FourFourTwo.

“Now I am in a good phase and am working out in the gym, with just one more month required to get back to the field.

“But I understand the club needs a player as soon as possible to climb up the table and that’s why they released me.”

Despite being let go, Pericic expressed his pleasure at being a member of the Tigers, who are currently second-last on the S.League table with just one win.

Pereicic, 28, had nothing but praise for the management team.

Pericic's absence has been keenly felt by Balestier this season

“I had a wonderful last year in Balestier, I met new friends and outstandings guys in the locker room,” Pericic said.

“We had a great team, great local football players mixed with five foreigners and we did superbly last year as Balestier put up a title challenge until the last round.

I really want to come back here because playing here has been like a dream for me

“I am really thankful to coach Marko Kraljevic for giving me a chance to prove myself, I can say he was one of the best coaches who ever trained me in my football career.

“I also want to thank our general manager Tim Nee, who really works for 24 hour for us players, as well as the fans whom gave me their support from day one.”

The Croatian now aims to regain his fitness back in his native country before resuming his career.

It may not be his last good bye to Singapore, however, as he hoped that someday another S.League club would employ his services.

“I will always say all the best about Balestier Khalsa … they have never done wrong by me, even till the end and I wish them good luck.

“For me now the only way to success is hard work and to come back stronger than ever.

“I really want to come back here because playing here has been like a dream for me.”

Photos: S.League