Australian-born Croats Joe Simunic, Anthony Seric and Joe Didulica have all been poached in the past by Croatia away from Australia to represent the national team, now Steven Ugarkovic joins the list of Down Under talent poached by Croatia.
Sydney-born Ugarkovic (18), who recently joined Osijek in the Croatian first division, has just been named in the Croatia U20 side for two friendly matches against the Czech Republic on 30 April and 2 May.
If Ugarkovic impresses during the friendlies, the former Australian U17 international will put himself in contention for a spot in Croatia’s World Cup squad later this year.
“That is right, he is an excellent player and has done a great job at Osijek and has earnt his call up for the national side to test him out,” said Croatia U20 selector Dinko Jelicic.
The tall midfielder has had his father from Australia in the stands in Croatia until a few days ago supporting him but he has had to return to Australia so will miss watching son Steven play live in the friendies.