Working hard during the off-season has paid dividends for young Wellington Phoenix striker Mirjan Pavlovic with his inclusion in Australia’s Olyroos squad for a friendly against Japan on June 1.
Working hard during the off-season has paid dividends for young Wellington Phoenix striker Mirjan Pavlovic with his inclusion in Australia-s Olyroos squad for a friendly against Japan on June 1.
Pavlovic, 22, struggled to make an impression during his first season with the Phoenix as he made 10 appearances in the Hyundai A-League, mainly off the bench, but when chosen in the Olyroos training squad he put his head down and worked hard.
“I-ve been involved in three camps over the last couple of months, two in Canberra and one in Melbourne,” Pavlovic said.
“They were pretty intense but I really enjoyed them and I-m really pleased that the effort I put in has been rewarded.
“I-ve been training with [Olyroos assistant coach] Paul Okon as well as attending the camps and I-m sure it will stand me in good stead when I get back to Wellington.”
The Olyroos, who earlier this month beat the Australian Institute of Sport 4-1 with Pavlovic scoring a goal, leave for Japan on May 27 and return on June 3.
Pavlovic will be back training with the Phoenix on June 14 and is determined to make his mark with the Wellington club this season.
“I didn-t do myself justice last season and made mistakes that I won-t make again,” Pavlovic said.
“I-m not about to waste another season and I will be raring to go when training starts.”
Coach Ricki Herbert was pleased to hear Pavlovic had been putting the hard yards in during the off season.
“It is a very important season for Pavs,” Herbert said.
“He has had a season with the club to get his feet under the table and now he has to kick on for the sake of himself and the team.
“The pressure is on him to be challenging for a first team spot every week.”