Socceroo signs for Phoenix reunion

Darije Kalezic welcomes Dario Vidosic to the club.
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Australian International and former-Bundesliga player Dario Vidosic has signed for the Wellington Phoenix.

Wellington Phoenix are delighted to announce the signature of Socceroo forward Dario Vidošić on a one-year contract.

Returning to Australia for the birth of his first son, Vidošić has been the subject of interest from several A-League clubs but has chosen Wellington, citing excitement over the project of renewal under Darije Kalezić.

“Obviously, through my dad I knew about the style of football that Darije was keen to play,” said Vidošić. “He has such a great football background in Holland, it’s a style of football that I’ve been searching for for a while, I’m just excited about learning under him – I’m only 30 so still always eager to learn.”

“When my contract [in Korea] finished up I got a lot of calls from agents, several A-League clubs were keen, there was also a chance to stay in Korea. But I thought the best place for me would be here, to enjoy my football again and just to play with a smile on my face.”

“I’m pretty hungry for success, keen to be a force, not just a number in the league. In the short term however I’m just looking forward to a proper pre-season, to get the body right and be ready to go from October 8."

For his father Rado, Dario’s signing is not just a source of pride as a father, but a cause of excitement as a coach.

“Dario comes with a lot of experience,” said Vidošić, “he’s played at the top level in Germany, Switzerland, China, Korea, Australia – all of these chapters are great learning experiences, that we hope he can demonstrate and share with some of the younger players on and off the park.”

“Dario has great versatility, he has played as striker, as a number ten, he gives us important flexibility in our front third. He is very calm under pressure, good on the ball, a good passer, a good provider, and we hope he’ll contribute with goals as well.”

“People know that we worked together at Brisbane Roar, but we actually worked together as a teacher and student at Cavendish Road State High School well before that, so it’s not a new or a challenging experience.”

Vidošić burst onto the A-League scene as a nineteen-year-old with Brisbane Roar before being snapped up by Bundesliga side FC Nürnberg, spending four seasons in the top two divisions in Germany before returning home with Adelaide United as a marquee signing.

After two impressive seasons with the Reds, Vidošić made a big-money transfer to Swiss side FC Sion before again being lured back to Australasia as a marquee for Western Sydney Wanderers.

The scorer of the memorable extra time goal that saw Wanderers defeat Roar and qualify for the 2015/16 A-League Final, Vidošić has scored 24 A-League goals in 96 appearances.

Vidošić’s wife and baby son will be joining him in Wellington in coming weeks. The Australian International is currently rebuilding his fitness after a brief injury layoff, and having successfully passed a medical will join full first-team training in around 3-4 weeks.