There are Australian soccer fans who are not familiar with Fran Karacic, as the 21-year-old defender plies his trade in the European nation of Croatia.
His name was read out when Socceroos Coach Bert van Marwijk announced his 32 selections for the World Cup and of the 32, Karacic is the most obscure. As a member of Croatia’s under 21s, he is hardly a household name, but he plays for Lokomitiva Zagreb (Zagreb Locomotive).
Karacic is viewed as a potential solver for the problem the Socceroos have in the right back position, a position where the problems of the Socceroos are glaring.
Karacic is eligible because his father was born in Australia, but a certain singer from the early 70s might say that it was just an accident of birth.
Karacic is not so obscure in Croatia and we have to say that we are not completely convinced that Croatia is in Europe, as it is one of those countries that has been known to shift its location on the world map to suit the geographical whims of politicians.
He has made 23 appearances for the Zagreb club and has scored one goal and contributed four assists.
In explaining his decision to name Karacic, van Marwijk said, “The problem is we don’t have a lot of choices for the right back position. He’s a lot of time captain of a team, he’s 21, he’s playing at highest level in Croatia.
If Karacic makes it to the final squad for Australia’s World Cup tilt with France in Kazan, he will be appearing as an uncapped player, but given the chances of the Socceroos, all the caps in the world mean nothing if there are no cattle to go along.
Lokomitiva Executive Director Dennis Gudasic, speaking of Karacic, told the Herald Sun, “He’d be a worthy member of the Australian team. They looked at him before but he had to pull out due to injury. The way he’s developing and when you look at Fran three years ago compared to now, in a few years he will definitely be at the level to play for the Croatian national team. But Croatia is a hard team to break into.”