Late bloomer is out to create an impression

Firm grip: Hurstville junior Vedran Jantejovic is making a name for himself at Sydney FC. Picture: Luke Fuda
Firm grip: Hurstville junior Vedran Jantejovic is making a name for himself at Sydney FC. Picture: Luke Fuda

IN a rare sign of persistence in the modern sporting landscape, Vedran Janjetovic waited until his 25th birthday before making his A-League debut for Sydney FC.

Now, with three starts to his name and established as the club's No.1 keeper, Janjetovic is trying to make every post a winner.

"It's been something that I've been working hard on," Janjetovic said.

"I mean it's been good that I've been able to start and show the coaches that I can play there and that I can hold my own.

"Hopefully it's the start of something and I can continue to play."

Much like his professional debut, Janjetovic was a latecomer to the sport.

He played his first game of football at Hurstville City Minotaurs aged 14, and ended up spending four years at the club.

More recently, he spent four seasons at Sydney United before being picked up by the Sky Blues.

"I could never get to soccer training so I ended up doing karate and I played a bit of rugby league," he said.

"I was a goalie almost straight away.

"I tried to be out on the field but it just didn't work.

"I always liked to throw myself around so I think that's what pulled me towards the goals."

He moved to Punchbowl and went to Punchbowl Primary School when his family relocated from his native Croatia when Janjetovic was seven.

His progress into the top grade was hampered by numerous injuries highlighted by serious pain in his arms four years ago.

"I had nerve damage in my right and left arms and the doctors didn't know what it was," Janjetovic said.

"They still don't know.

"It's all good now but I guess it was one of those things."

Janjetovic made his debut in Sydney's draw against Melbourne Heart, maintaining a clean sheet, before tasting success the next week against Wellington Phoenix.

He was part of Sydney's local derby 2-0 loss against Western Sydney and is expected to play in the club's away match against Newcastle Jets FC on Saturday.

"The morale has definitely lifted," Janjetovic said.

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