First taste eggs Pav on

YOUNG striker Mirjan Pavlovic in determined to eventually cement a spot in the Wellington Phoenix match-day squad but for now he’s being patient.

YOUNG striker Mirjan Pavlovic in determined to eventually cement a spot in the Wellington Phoenix match-day squad but for now he-s being patient.

The 21-year-old made his Hyundai A-League 2010/11 debut for the Phoenix last weekend, playing almost 30 minutes in his side-s 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar.

Pavlovic put the Roar-s defence under immediate pressure after coming on at Suncorp Stadium, using his size and strength to create some good scoring opportunities for the visitors.

“It was good to get my first game for the club but it was a bit disappointing we didn-t get the win,” Pavlovic said. “When I came on I felt almost like we had nothing to lose so I tried to get out there and change the game somehow to help the team out. Unfortunately it didn-t come off.”

While he-s champing at the bit for another opportunity, possibly against Perth Glory in Perth this Sunday, Pavlovic realises he-s got plenty of work to do given the Phoenix have experienced strikers of the calibre of Paul Ifill, Chris Greenacre and Dylan Macallister on the books.

“Hopefully I can get more game-time. I-ve got to be realistic about it and just keep trying to do my best. It-s a long season and as long as I keep doing things well at training and listening to the coaching staff and the experienced players around me I-m sure I-ll get more opportunities down the track.”

The young Australian is the sort of striker who is hungry for the ball and wants to make things happen on attack.

“Ever since I was a kid I wanted the ball and to try different things. Hopefully I can create things for the Phoenix and start knocking goals in left, right and centre – that-s my job as a striker.”

Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert said Pavlovic was a raw talent with the potential to forge an extremely successful professional career.

“The good thing with Pav is that he-s had a grounding (with former club the Newcastle Jets in the Hyundai A-League). He-s got good belief, good confidence. He wants to be in the team and he-s capable of playing in the team.

“He injected some good enthusiasm against the Roar and he-s knocking on the door (of further selection). The potential is there but he-s never had that developed for him. There-s a lot of work to do with him to help him understand the game but he-s a good player to work with.”

Although Herbert has plenty of striking experience to call on, he said he was not averse to shaking things up with the introduction of a young player if necessary.

“Pav-s developing quickly and he wants to make a difference to the team. Whether he starts a game or not is irrelevant but players like him serve to put everyone on notice that there are guys around the squad who want their chance and will work hard to get it.

“That-s a quality you look for in everyone and Pav-s got it in spades.”

The Phoenix take on Perth Glory at nib Stadium in the Western Australian capital on Sunday, September 5 (kickoff at 3pm local, 7pm NZT).