Bonnyrigg White Eagles debut rising star
Debuting at the age of 16 in any league across the world is a massive deal and achievement for both player and club.
On Saturday night, Luke Ivanovic had that honour, taking the field for the Bonnyrigg White Eagles’ round 1 against Sydney Olympic.
The call to warm up didn’t disrupt his preparations, or raise any nerves for the youngster who just focused on the job at hand.
“When the coaches told me to warm up, they said I was going on in the second half”, Ivanovic said.
“Throughout the warm up I was just focusing on the roll I was going to play and how I could benefit the team.”
Ivanovic, currently a year 11 at Westfields Sports High, indeed had his number called at half time as he took to the field at the Bonnyrigg Sports Ground with the home side trailing two goals to nil.
With possibly the two most experienced coaches in the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s competition, Brian Brown and Cliff Pointer, possibly one of the youngest players to ever take the field in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition had all the support he needed.
“Before I went on, Cliff just told me to play the game I usually play and to go and enjoy it.
“Debuting for the first team was a great feeling, I’ve been working hard for this opportunity to come and I’ll continue to keep working harder to try and fight for a spot in the team.
“I’m just really glad the coaches gave me an opportunity.”
Coming through the youth program at the White Eagles, it was only a matter of time the potent attacker would be given his chance at first grade football.
Last season the youngster was registered in the under 16’s squad but saw him back up for the under 20’s team for most games throughout the season, scoring prolifically in both grades.
“I started performing well for the 16’s under Ray Mandic before the 20’s coach Steve Sigmund called me halfway through the year and asked me to play 20s.
“I was stoked, missing the 18’s to play 20s was a big step up. I was glad to be a part of the 20’s team for the rest of the year but now training and playing with first grade is an even better feeling.”
With various injuries in the White Eagles’ first team squad, it was Ivanovic’s opportunity to take.
“Training with the first-grade team requires a lot of quicker decisions and it’s been great for my football development.”
Brian ‘Bomber’ Brown praised the youngster in the past and spoke of his remarkable talent and that even a possible Socceroos call up looms for him in the future if he continues to work hard.
The belief from the coaching staff at the club has helped Ivanovic grow as a footballer and he is grateful for the opportunity.
“I couldn't thank the coaches enough for the opportunity they have given me through out last year and this year.”
Ivanovic’s future goals are much centred around this season and the most important thing for him is to continue his development at the White Eagles.
“I want to help my under 20’s team go as far as possible into the finals and to also play the best football for my school Westfields Sports High School.
“Also, to be a big part of the first-grade team when given the opportunity.”
The club has seen the likes of Martin Lo, Asmir Kadric, Taylor McDonald and Leon Farrier come through the ranks with Ivanovic joining the latest batch of rising youngsters at the club.
Ivanovic may get more minutes under his belt as the White Eagles travel to Cromer Park this Sunday when Bonnyrigg tackle Manly United with the seniors kicking off at 3:30pm.
-By Nikola Pozder