x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Milan Susak wants to continue collecting silverware

Australian was sold on move to Al Wasl and the Arabian Gulf League by his many friends already playing here.

Hamad bin Lahej, left, the Al Wasl vice chairman, hands over a kit top to Milan Susak who wants to bring the championship form he has experienced elsewhere to Zabeel Stadium.
Hamad bin Lahej, left, the Al Wasl vice chairman, hands over a kit top to Milan Susak who wants to bring the championship form he has experienced elsewhere to Zabeel Stadium.

DUBAI // Al Wasl's latest acquisition says he is determined to ensure the club challenges for honours next season.

Milan Susak, the Australian defender, cut a relaxed figure Thursday during his first news engagement as an Arabian Gulf League player, having signed a three-year deal with the Zabeel Stadium side.

A centre-back who also is comfortable on the left or right, Susak for the past six months had represented Sepahan in the Iranian top flight.

He decided on the move to the UAE following a period of extensive research, which included picking the brains of some Emirates-based compatriots.

"There's a few Australians playing in this league so I'd been keeping an eye on it and that was one of the main reasons I wanted to come here," Susak said. "I've seen many games and the standard is a good one, similar to what I experienced in Iran. And my few good friends already with clubs here told me great things about Dubai. I'm very close to Dino Djulbic at Al Wahda and spoke with him many times before deciding to come. He said Wasl are a very good club; it's a good opportunity."

Susak is six months short of his 30th birthday but he already possesses a comprehensive CV, featuring 11 clubs, since making his professional debut for Sydney Olympic in 2001.

He attributes his nomadic career to a constant craving for success, and since the 2010/11 season has quenched that thirst for silverware, first at Brisbane Roar by winning both the A-League Premiership and Championship, and then at Sepahan, where he helped the team to the Hazfi Cup.

Understandably, Susak is keen to maintain that upwards trajectory at Wasl, who finished a disappointing ninth in last season's Pro League.

"For the past three years I've been successful by winning trophies and I hope that will continue here," he said. "I've come here to win titles and I want to do as much for this club as I can to have success. That's the aim."

Susak becomes Wasl's second foreign recruit of the summer, joining Kaio, the Brazilian striker, who arrived earlier this month from the Japanese second division.

With Mariano Donda already on the roster, the Dubai side are seeking their final expatriate - Susak takes the Asian player spot - and envisage a deal to be concluded next week for a forward.

Hamad bin Lahej, the Wasl vice chairman, said the club are content with the business conducted thus far.

He also said that speculation on the departure of Rashid Essa, the national team midfielder, is premature. Essa has been subject to a bid from Al Ain, the league champions.

"Rashid is a son of Al Wasl and one of the important players so it's not easy to give him to another club," said Bin Lahej, before reaffirming Wasl's interest in Ahmed Khalil, Al Ahli's Emirati striker.

"Ahmed Khalil is one of the best players in the UAE and for the national team. We've been professional by sending a letter to Al Ahli; we'd like to have him at Al Wasl."

 

jmcauley@thenational.ae

 

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