The man Vukovic credits for turning his career around
A couple of years ago Danny Vukovic could only dream of playing in one of Europe’s big club competitions.
But after a sensational first season abroad with Belgian club RKC Genk, the Caltex Socceroos gloveman will get that chance in this season’s Europa League.
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Genk came through a tricky qualifying process last month to book their spot in the group stage of the competition, where they face Turkey’s Besiktas, Malmo of Sweden and Sarpsborg from Norway.
“It’s massive for me personally,” Vukovic told www.socceroos.com.au.
“Two years ago, I was playing in Australia and watching these sorts of games on TV, so now to have the chance to feature in these big matches is what I have dreamed of.
“We are in a group that we feel we can do well in. It’s not going to be easy though.
“While playing two games a week and traveling through Europe is going to be difficult, we feel that we have the team that can progress to the next stage.”
Genk has certainly made a strong start to the campaign, unbeaten in 11 matches in league and cup with nine wins and two draws.
And the 33-year-old has been instrumental in that run, keeping a number of clean sheets and making a string of fine saves along the way.
Being in camp in Turkey is also special for Vukovic, who reunited with Caltex Socceroos boss Graham Arnold, who he credits for saving his career.
“Arnie’s been massive for my career. I worked with him in the Olympic team early on in my career,” Vukovic explained.
“We crossed paths again at the Mariners and then at Sydney FC where he really turned my career around.
“I hit a bit of a roadblock in my career and wasn’t playing well and linked back up with him and he helped me turn my career around.
“From Sydney I managed to get a move overseas and managed to get back in this national team squad. I owe Arnie a lot.”