Perth Glory Sign Energie Cottbus Striker Branko Jelic

The former Red Star Belgrade man has signed a three year contract with the A-League club.
Perth Glory have added plenty of bite to their attack with proven goal scorer Branko Jelic signing a three-year deal with the club.

Glory coach Dave Mitchell has been determined to add extra potency up front following Nikita Rukavytsya’s move to Holland at the end of last season, and is confident he has secured a player capable of scoring regularly and creating goals for his team-mates.

“With Nikita gone we needed to bolster our options up front and by securing Branko we feel that we have like for like in terms of quality,” Mitchell said.

“Branko is excellent in and around the box, he scores goals, makes great positions and can also set things up for other players as well.”

The Serbian striker recently agreed to a mutual termination with his Bundesliga club FC Energie Cottbus after which Perth were able to discuss the possibility of a move to WA.

“Branko was a player that we understood to be interested in coming to Australia but he was contracted so we didn’t think there was much hope of bringing him out here this season,” Mitchell said.

“However, things can change quickly in football and after he became available we tabled an offer and explained what we’ve set out to do at the club and to our delight he was very keen to be part of that.”

The 32-year-old has played for Serbian powerhouse side Red Star Belgrade, and also has experience in Asia where he claimed the Golden Boot award in the Chinese Super League with 21 goals for Beijing Guoan in 2005.

“He has proven himself to be a dangerous player in front of goal throughout his career and I’m sure he’ll be able to continue to do that for Perth Glory,” Mitchell said.

“Things have fallen into place nicely and we’re now in the process of securing working visas and the like to get him to Perth as soon as possible.”

Perth Glory have 19 contracted players for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season and are continuing discussions with a number of other prospects to fill the remaining spots including the marquee position.