Glory set to re-sign defender Djulbic

Shayne Hope, The West Australian March 7, 2014, 1:05 pm

Perth Glory are close to finalising a deal to bring experienced defender Dino Djulbic back to the club after a five-year absence.

Djulbic, 31, spent one-and-a-half seasons with Glory from 2007 to 2009 and made 27 appearances for his hometown club.

He left for German side Rot Weiss Ahlen before returning to the A-League with Gold Coast United. More recently, Djulbic has played with Chinese club Guizhou Renhe and Al-Wahda in the United Arab Emirates.

The strong defender played two international matches for Australia in the EAFF East Asian Cup qualifiers in 2012.

Djulbic would be a handy addition for Glory, with marquee recruit William Gallas unlikely to be at the club next year.

Glory chief executive Jason Brewer confirmed the club was close to signing Djulbic, who trained with the team yesterday.

"The club is in advanced negotiations with Dino and hopes to be in a position next week to do something," Brewer said.

Djulbic would not be available to play for Glory until at least next week, by which time the club's finals hopes could be over.

Glory remain an outside chance to qualify, but sit seven points and goal difference below sixth-placed Sydney with six games to play.

They are desperate to end a four-match losing streak away to Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, but could be without top scorer Shane Smeltz (groin).

The striker was a late withdrawal from New Zealand's international friendly match against Japan in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Club officials are hopeful Smeltz will be available, but an extra player will travel to Wellington as cover.

Young Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren is in line to replace Smeltz in the starting line-up if the veteran is ruled out.

Glory coach Kenny Lowe will hand a starting debut to Young Socceroos goalkeeper Jack Duncan after first-choice gloveman Danny Vukovic was allowed to join Japanese club Vegalta Sendai on loan this week.

Duncan, 20, joined Glory from Newcastle this season, where he made his only previous A-League appearance off the bench in 2011.

"This is exactly why I wanted to come here, with the hope that he (Vukovic) might want to move on to bigger things and I might get a chance," Duncan said.

"It was a big move for me to make but I guess it's paid off in a sense, now I've just got to try and do the job."

Player Profile

Name:
Shane Stefanutto
Team:
Brisbane
Age:
35
Goals this season:
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A League Ladder

2014/15 Australian A-League

Rank Team Won Lost Points
1 Perth 10 3 36
2 Melb Victory 9 3 33
3 Adelaide 10 6 33
4 Wellington 10 6 33
5 Sydney 8 3 32
6 Melb City 6 6 24
7 Brisbane 6 7 22
8 Central Coast 3 9 16
9 Newcastle 1 10 11
10 Western Sydney 1 11 8