We sat down with Alex Baumjohann, Head of Player Management to chart the progress of the current Sydney FC loanees who are playing their football in Europe, along with other recruitment matters.
Adrian Segecic – FC Dordrecht (Netherlands)
Segecic has really taken to the Dutch 2nd division, known as the Eerste Divisie as his side FC Dordrecht find themselves in the upper half of the table. Since arriving at the club, Segecic has played in every game and is yet to taste defeat.
A brace last weekend against Den Bosch saw him take out the Player of the Match award in a 5-1 victory. In his short spell there, he has scored three goals and made one assists, playing 716 minutes in the Dutch league which is furthering his development.
Segecic is in constant dialogue with Alex Baumjohann and calls him weekly to chart his progress and more. Baumjohann mentioned that this has been a great move for the teenager.
“He is very happy there and playing week in, week out is great for him as a person and for his development.
“We speak every week and the minutes that he is getting is just what both clubs and Adrian wanted,” he said.
Max Vartuli – AaB Aalborg (Denmark)
Max joined the Danish side AaB Aalborg and has made quite the impression since arriving in the north of Europe. He is currently training with the first team and sat on the bench as the reserve keeper for six matches before the Danes signed a back-up keeper.
This signing was expected from the clubs and while currently third choice keeper, he is gaining valuable experience by training with the first team each day.
Vartuli also earnt himself a call-up to the Australia U20’s side for the very first time and Baumjohann is impressed with what he has achieved in a short space of time.
“I speak consistently with the club and am in touch with Max. Aalborg BK is very happy with Max and the loan deal is working out exactly how everyone expected,” he said.
“Max would’ve been fourth choice keeper had he remained here so it is great to see him playing reserves and U19’s in Denmark which is at a higher level than U20’s NPL.”
Alen Harbas – FC KTP (Finland)
Unlike the other two loanees, Alen Harbas’ season has come to a close with FC KTP. Unfortunately, his side have been relegated down to the 2nd division. With the Finnish division running from February to October, Harbas joined near the conclusion of the season and struggled to make an impact with head coach changes and the head coaches being under pressure to play experienced players during this time.
He has now had a solid three months to adjust to the play style of Finland and the weather conditions. He is back in Australia on holiday and will return to FC KTP in January for pre-season where Baumjohann expects he can make a solid impact following a full pre-season in Scandinavia.
“The first few months were important for Alen to acclimatize to a new country and getting used to first team football. I am very confident that next season he will be getting much more game-time which will be great for his development,” said Baumjohann.
Overall the Head of Player Management is pleased with how these loan deals are playing out.
“Having the opportunity for young players to experience a foreign environment while they are still developing is vital and we can already see progress is a short space of time with these three.
“At the conclusion of the loan, these boys will come back better players which is better for both the player and Sydney FC,” he added.
“We can always look to extend the loan, or else they can return to Sydney FC as better players with much more experience under their belt.
“These are only positive outcomes for everyone involved and we will continue to provide this pathway to our young talents in the future,” he concluded.