Melbourne City fullback Ivan Franjic says Wednesday night’s Westfield FFA Cup Final win is even more special given the health concerns which threatened his career earlier this year.
Franjic faced an uncertain future in pre-season when a virus caused inflammation around his heart and ruled him out of football for an indefinite period.
The AFC Asian Cup winner has worked his way back to full fitness in recent weeks and capped the comeback with an assist and a winner’s medal in City’s 1-0 triumph over Sydney FC.
“It means a lot. Obviously I never knew if I was going to play again (and that was) a really tough time,” Franjic told Fox Sports.
“But the physios and all the support staff here worked hard with me and got me back.
“I’m just happy that I was able to play 90 minutes and get the result for the boys and the team because we deserve it. We worked hard all pre-season.”
Franjic supplied an inch-perfect cross for Tim Cahill’s lone goal in a replica of the play the pair produced against Chile at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“I know where Timmy is. We practice that in training,” the right-back said.
“It was a ball that found Timmy and he did the rest.
“He’s a great header (of the ball) so it was good to get the win like that.”