Ngaruawahia United forward Stjepan Kovacic has ended his season with the Waikato club to return to Croatia in time for the start of the European season.
Kovacic (29) scored 22 goals and made three assists in his 20 games for Ngaruawahia who are fourth in the Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship.
He joined the club in March from Croatian side NK Torpedo Kusevac and made an immediate impact, helping Ngaruawahia’s push for promotion to the Northern League.
Writing in the club’s match programme for their August 26 game against North Shore United, head coach Kyle Park confirmed Kovacic had headed back to Croatia in time for the European season and “after we learnt we had fallen short of our goal of promotion this year.”
Park says Kovacic’s haul is the best return from a striker in the club’s history at this level of competition.
“We hope this isn’t the last we see of him at Ngaruawahia but if it is, we thank him for his contributions this season.”
Main photo: Ngaruawahia United’s Stjepan Kovacic keeps possession in May’s Chatham Cup tie with Mount Albert Ponsonby. Photo: Andrew Skinner / Phototek.
Game to be played on Saturday August 26, 2023
Ngaruawahia United v North Shore United
Centennial Park, Ngaruawahia, 3pm