Similar to a dear caught in the headlights, a young footballer can learn the hard way that a career in the world’s game can be over in an instance and for Luka Prso, he understands that he has to control his future.
Prso’s uncle, Dado Prso, excelled during his footballing career as an attacker and played for the likes of AS Monaco in France and Rangers Football Club in Scotland.
The young midfielder often draws upon the experiences of his uncle and hopes to replicate his success during his own career.
“It’s nice to be correlated to someone that had a big career like that,” Prso said.
“I believe it’s good to have those genes.”
Along with his uncle, Prso considers his father as a key figure in shaping his footballing journey.
Prso’s father played in Croatia’s second division before heading to Australia due to the Yugoslav war.
“My father always loved football,” he said.
“It would be my father who has been my biggest influence.”
Beginning his junior footballing journey with Castle Hill United in Sydney at the age of five, Prso showed promise early.
It was Prso’s father who recognised his talent and guided Prso to become the footballer he is today.
“He had it in his mind that I was going to be a footballer since I was born.” he said.
Prso has been granted an opportunity some footballers can only dream of.
The youngster would undertake a trial with Bayern Munich and the experience was surreal.
“I probably didn’t understand how big it was,” he said.
“I can still picture it in my mind, I get goosebumps thinking about it.”
Due to FIFA regulations around signing underage players, Prso’s time in Germany would come to a premature end.
He would go on to link up with Southampton’s academy system before heading to Croatia and taking on a trial with Dinamo Zagreb.
“They were really happy with me,” he said.
“I signed a two-year scholar contract.”
During the 2020/21 pre-season, Prso returned to Australia and joined the Newcastle Jets on a season long loan.
It was an opportunity which Prso realised he had to take.
And under the guidance of newly appointed Head Coach Craig Deans, Prso would become an increasingly important member of the squad throughout the campaign.
“I am very grateful to the club and especially to Craig for all the opportunities,” he said.
“The boys, the atmosphere is great, it’s like a family.”
This week, Prso was selected to represent Australia in the U23 squad and believes the moment epitomises his aspirations for the future.
“It doesn’t feel real, but I know it’s what I’ve worked for and it’s very satisfying,” he said.
“I learnt how to play and how to love football here in Australia.”