Milan learns plenty to beat of drums in his debut year
AT the start of the season, Milan Sekulic came to Western Pride unsure what to expect at his new National Premier League club.
He'll finish his debut year with more than 20 games to his credit and a range of valuable experiences on and off the football field.
Among those was playing in front of the small but vocal fans from the Malaysian under-23 side called Harimau Muda A (HMA).
When the teams met earlier this year at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex, it was an entertaining match with some fast and skilful football backed by the HMA supporters' impressive singing and drum playing.
With HMA playing Pride at the North Ipswich Reserve this afternoon, anything is possible if the Malaysian fans again turn up ready to provide an unforgettable chorus of sideline support.
Sekulic savoured playing in the previous clash.
"Their sound was actually good," he said.
"I was playing on like the left side in the first half and they were right next to me. It was good to see that kind of stuff.
"It was a bit hard to concentrate in the first few minutes but after that you just kind of got into the game."
On the field, the Malaysian side were quick and skilful, finally winning 4-0.
Sekulic hopes for a different outcome at the end of today's 5pm clash.
"I reckon we'll be able to do it if all the boys are switched on and wanting to win," he said.
Sekulic, 21 this year, joined Pride after playing in Moreton Bay's Reserve grade side last season.
"It's been good, much different," he said. "It's a different environment coming to a first team from reserves.
"The squad training is much more competitive and you're always fighting for your position."
Australian-born Sekulic, with Croatian heritage, started playing football as a teenager with Olympic while growing up in Brisbane.
The Holland Park personal trainer said he was made feel welcome at Pride, helping him finish what has been a tough season with only four wins.
While uncertain what next season holds, he's hoping to further his playing career, being a handy recruit as an attacking left back or left wing.
"I'm just concentrating on the last two games and then start pre-season training and see where I go from there," he said.
In the Capital League 2 competition, the finals-bound Ipswich City Bulls Reserves are keen to win at home tonight before victory in their catch-up match next Saturday.
The Bulls are in fourth spot and can finish in third if they overcome Kangaroo Point tonight and Newmarket next Saturday.
They play third-placed KPR in today's 5pm game at Sutton Park before the main game at 7pm.
Meanwhile, Western Spirit's two sides are winding up their seasons at Kippen Park this afternoon.
Out of finals contention, the club's top side and Reserve grade combination tackle The Gap.