Mate Dugandzic says signing on with the Red and White for the 2013-14 season has given him extra motivation as he continues to recover from an injury setback.
Mate Dugandzic says signing on with the Red and White for the 2013-14 season has given him motivation and direction as he continues to recover from an injury setback.
The Melbourne Heart FC winger was ruled out for the majority of the 2012-13 Hyundai A-League season after he suffered a broken foot in Heart-s round seven clash against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium in November last year.
Dugandzic underwent surgery which ruled him out of the remainder of the season - a crushing blow for the attacking player after he played a promising part in the Club-s first seven matches of the season.
However, re-signing with the Red and White has given the right-footed winger something to set his sights on.
Dugandzic was one of a number of Melbourne Heart FC players, including Nick Kalmar, Dylan Macallister and Jonatan Germano, who signed new contracts on Monday.
“I-m very, very happy to remain at the club for next season,” Dugandzic told melbourneheartfc.com.au.
“The Club and the coaching staff have high aspirations for me, so hopefully next season I can come back with more desire and energy after my injury.”
While Dugandzic said that his rehabilitation had been gruelling at times, his new contract had provided the stimulus to push through the more difficult times during his recovery.
“It-s given me a goal to focus on,” Dugandzic said.
“I can now sit down with the medical staff and start to plan and set some goals with them and it gives me motivation to reach those goals.
“I want to be back and ready to start pre-season. If all goes to plan - I might be a couple of weeks behind but that isn-t too bad - I-ll be ready to go in early June [when the players return to pre-season training].”
Dugandzic said that Heart-s medical staff, including High Performance Manager Tom Reddin and physiotherapist Belinda Pacella had also helped to keep him on the straight and narrow.
“They have been fantastic,” Dugandzic said.
"Belinda and Tom have helped me out immensely and there are only certain things I can do by myself.
“They continue to push me through the highs and the lows."
Dugandzic said that Heart faced an exciting new phase as the Club rebuilds its squad for a new campaign.
“Obviously, first and foremost, I wish our foundation players, Simon Colosimo, Clint Bolton and Matt Thompson and our captain Fred all the best,” Dugandzic said.
“They have been great support for me along the way.
“It-s an interesting time; we want to focus on next season and hopefully add in some players to our squad.”
Dugandzic said his current rehabilitation included predominantly work on an exercise bike and he hoped to be back running in the next month.