Wellington Phoenix are pleased to announce that talented midfielder Luka Prso has signed a one-year contract with the Club, after negotiating a release from one of Croatia’s largest clubs, NK Osijek.
Honestly, it’s a great feeling – I’ve been told a lot about the coach and the Club, and I’ve been following the A-League for the past 10 years or so and Wellington have always been a Club that plays good football and has amazing fans; so it’s a really proud moment for me to be joining Wellington.
The 6’3”, 20-year-old Prso (pronounced Pru-sha) played last season on loan for the Newcastle Jets in the A-League, making 14 starts over 17 appearances and scoring his maiden goal on 13 March 2021 against Sydney FC. Prso also led the Jets squad in Fouls Drawn per match (1.53) and was second in total Fouls Drawn with 26 – just behind veteran Roy O’Donovan.
Prior to this, Prso joined Osijek from Slovenian giants NK Olimpija Ljubljana, after impressing during his Young Socceroos debut earlier that season. Prso is also a product of both the Dinamo Zagreb and Bayern Munich academy systems, which – along with Osijek – have a history of producing dynamic young players.
Most recently Prso has been making a name for himself on the international stage, having been part of the Australia U-23 squad which based itself in Marbella in June to play four friendlies matches; Prso participating in this camp alongside another Phoenix newcomer in Nicholas Pennington.
Currently Prso is based in Doha, Qatar with the Olyroos for a series of Under-23 Asian Cup qualifiers, to be played later this month in Tajikistan.
Wellington Phoenix Head Coach, Ufuk Talay, says that Prso is an exciting talent who has the potential to help the squad immediately.
“We’re excited to have Luka join the squad, he will be a solid addition to our midfield for next season,” says Talay.
“The experience that Luka already has at 20 years old – having played in Europe, internationally with the Australian team and last season in the A-League – shows the potential and ability that he has.”
Prso says that he is excited to be joining the Phoenix under Coach Talay’s setup and believes his skillsets will mesh well with the squad.
“Honestly, it’s a great feeling – I’ve been told a lot about the coach and the Club, and I’ve been following the A-League for the past 10 years or so and Wellington have always been a Club that plays good football and has amazing fans; so it’s a really proud moment for me to be joining Wellington,” says Prso.
“I saw last season the type of football the Phoenix were playing, and I thought they were a great squad with some talented players – like [fellow Olyroo] Piscopo – so I’m really looking forward to linking up with those boys.
“I’m looking to bring some energy and creativity to the midfield, my game is all about passing, creating chances, high energy and I’m going to try and get my name on the scoresheet as much as possible.”
Prso says it is an honour to play for Australia and he is enjoying his time with the Olyroos in Doha.
“Fortunately for me this is the second time I’ve been involved with the Olyroos this year, so it’s been amazing – everything is there for us to perform and continue to improve, so it’s a great opportunity for myself and the team.”
And Prso is looking forward to setting foot in Wellington’s Sky Stadium for the first time early next year, when the Phoenix squad plans to return to New Zealand for its remaining home matches.
“I saw the Phoenix’s first game back at Sky Stadium last season and it was definitely a sight to see the stadium full and the atmosphere so electric; that went viral across Australia.
“So when I saw video of that I thought about how nice it’d be in play in front of a set of fans like that – I can’t wait.”
Prso, who will wear no. 12 for the Phoenix, will join up with the Nix squad in Australia in early November once his national team duties are completed.