A-League: Young gun commits for 2020/21 season

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Luka Prso wasted no time hitting the training track after being released from quarantine

Newcastle Jets are pleased to announce the signing of exciting youngster, Luka Pršo for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.

The 20-year-old, who celebrated his birthday today, has returned to Australia after being loaned out by Croatian side NK Osijek.

Prso is a well-traveled footballer by anyone's measure, but considering he only turned 20 today, his footballing experiences are truly amazing.

As a 14-year-old he traveled overseas with his parents and the highly-rated Prso spent time in both the Dinamo Zagreb and Bayern Munich academy systems.

Eligible to represent Australia, Croatia, and Serbia, Prso was called up to play for Serbia’s Under-15s as a teenager.

But the midfielder, who idolised the likes of Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell as a kid, loved his time with Gary van Egmond’s team and is committed to the green and gold.

“I’m eligible to play for Australia and Croatia, but my heart ever since I was little has been set on playing for my home country, which is Australia," Prso said.

The tall, rangy midfielder was born in Sydney’s west and started playing for Castle Hill at the age of seven and then spent four years with the Football NSW Institute.

Passport issues saw him and his family move to England where he spent time with the highly-rated Southampton Football Academy where he really enjoyed his football

His next move was to Croatia and Dinamo Zagreb.

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“I have a Croatian background, my dad was born in Croatia and he had been in contact with Dinamo Zagreb for a while. So they invited me for a trial, we went over and at this time we were trying to finalise my Croatian passport.

“They offered me a two-year scholar contract and I signed it in 2016. I was there for nearly two years and it was an incredible experience there too. I was able to learn from a lot of experienced coaches." he said.

He then moved to Slovenian club NK Olimpija where he signed a three-year deal.

He spent just over 12 months there before a three-year Pro contract was offered to him by Croatian club Osijek.

The three-year deal was for the 2020-23 seasons. 

While in Europe Prso kept in constant contact with the Australia national coaches, after his time with the Young Socceroos, which led to loan deal here in Australia.

The 192cm midfielder is happy to be 'home' in Australia, and after spending 14-days in quarantine, and is excited to hit the ground running in the A-League.

"Firstly I’d like to thank the club for providing me with the opportunity to return home and sign for them until the end of the season," he said."

"Everyone involved with the club, including the fans, have been extremely welcoming and hopefully I can repay the faith that has been put into me by making an impact. 

"I’ve been following the way the A-League has progressed over the past few years and joining the Jets will provide me with the grounds necessary to continue growing and developing my game.

"I’m really looking forward to the season ahead with lots of optimism".

Coach Craig Deans is rapt to have the young talent in the squad, adding depth to the club's midfield stocks.

He hoped to have Prso available for selection soon but he was wary of the teenager picking up a soft tissue injury after his time in quarantine.

"We just need to obviously get all his medicals done and get our physio and strength and conditioning coach to have a look at him physically, because you can have a treadmill in your hotel room but it's completely different to playing a game of football or football training," Deans said.

"It's probably been two or three weeks since he's done anything like that and the last thing we want to do is risk him with an injury.

"It would be nice to have him because it's another number. We've got a couple of different options if he's available, but it is literally a wait and see.