JP Investigates: Dream Croatian Loanees

Back in early January, NCFC announced a new partnership with Croatian club NK Istra 1961. As part of this new friendship, NCFC sent Nazmi Albadawi and Brian Sylvestre over to Croatia to train with the Croatian club for their preseason. It was also said that two or three NK Istra 1961 players will be on loan to NCFC for the 2017 Season.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for player announcements for the club – but we have yet to see any Croatian-loanee news. We can only guess which two or three players will be incoming. So I’m going to name my dream picks.

The Croatian side is currently sitting at 8th place in their league (out of 10), so they would probably want to keep their best players. So we are looking at youngsters or fringe players.

If you take a look at the current NCFC roster, there is definitely a noticeable shortage of defenders and forwards. A successful team will probably need more than four recognized defenders to compete for honors, so I think it’s fair to say that the club is looking  to strengthen that department.

Kenan Hadžić (Defender)

Hadžić operates as primarily a right back, but he can also play as a center back. He looks like he doesn’t have time for the opposition, let alone this picture being taken. I mean, check out that glare – do you want to be running at this guy with the ball at your feet?

Renato Gojković (Defender)

Gojković currently stands at 6’4″ according to the Croatian team website (and my conversion of centimeters into feet) and can play at center back, defensive midfield, and also left back. That is a big guy, and one that we would want leading the line against NASL opposition.

Photo courtesy of

Elvis Trešnjić (Forward)

Ok so hear me out. Elvis is so elusive that he has no official picture taken of him, imagine how he would be against defenders? (Side note, you have to love that they put a Nike Swoosh on the default player image – just in case we were worried that he might be wearing an adidas or Puma shirt.)  He has the best name in the squad (runner-up goes to Theophilus Solomon), plus he is only 17 or 18 years old so he would definitely benefit with some experience in North Carolina.

NCFC just finished their first week of preseason training, and we can only hope that these three will be landing soon at RDU to join up with their future teammates.

Cover photo courtesy of

You can find JP on Twitter at @jp_rcs.