Former Lower Hutt player now shining for Serbia

  5 October 2013   Dominion Post   Player News
 
Former Lower Hutt player now shining for Serbia

Source: Dominion Post

 

A former Lower Hutt schoolgirl is eyeing a professional football career after making the Serbian under-19 team.

 

Jana Radosavljevic, 16, went to Waterloo School for five years before returning to her native Serbia with her family in February 2006.

 

While living in Lower Hutt she played for the Petone Pioneers.

 

"I would like to send a huge hug to all my friends and family over there and to Waterloo School," she said yesterday.

 

"I'll make you proud, guys."

 

She considered herself "half-Kiwi, half-Serbian", and kept in touch with her old friends from New Zealand on Skype.

 

Former coach Max Shierlaw said her talent was evident, even at seven.

 

"She had a fierce competitive streak. She outshone everybody on the pitch, boys included."

 

Jana is playing for the Red Star club in Belgrade, and has been offered a trial with Swedish club Malmo, where her football hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic began his career.

 

"He is my favourite player and I would like to be like him."

 

Father Ivica Radosavljevic said his daughter's achievement made him "very proud".

 

"She adores football, it makes her happy, so I am happy too."

 

Jana said she had enjoyed watching the recent football success of the Football Ferns, and would always be grateful for the start she found in Lower Hutt.

 

"My path was created in the moment when I was seven and I got the Golden Boot award from my club Petone Pioneers."