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 »  Home  »  Sports  »  (E) Ante Jazic's next stop may be in Russia.
(E) Ante Jazic's next stop may be in Russia.
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  06/21/2004 | Sports | Unrated
(E) Ante Jazic's next stop may be in Russia.

 

Globe-trotting Croatian-Canadian soccer player from Halifax

looks to club in Russia

NEIL DAVIDSON
Canadian Press


Wednesday, June 16, 2004
KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) - After club stints in Croatia and Austria, it looks like Ante Jazic's next stop may be in Russia.
The Halifax defender-midfielder has spent the last three years with Rapid Vienna. His contract just expired and the club's subsequent two-year offer called for a pay cut of almost 40 per cent. He turned it down, as did five or six of his teammates. "I'm 28 now, I have to go where I'm going to make a little more money and think about the future," Jazic said in an interview prior to Canada's World Cup qualifying game against Belize on Wednesday night.
Russian club FC Kuban is interested. The team isn't doing well in the standings, has ambitions and the funds to match, and is looking to buy players.
The club is located in the southern part of Russia on the Black Sea.
"Climate-wise it's supposed to be the nicest place in Russia, if there is a good climate in Russia," Jazic said. "Apparently it's supposed to be really nice.
"I'm taking it as an educational experience too. I went to Croatia and Austria, so why not Russia?'
He is scheduled to fly o Europe on Saturday night and meet with the Russians.
"Hopefully something else will come up too so I have options. But I definitely won't be in Austria next season."
That's a pity, in many ways. Jazic loved his time in Vienna, although his club has had financial troubles.
"I had a beautiful set-up. I know wherever I go now, I'll never have those accommodations. I had a flat right downtown, I had a car, everything."
Canadian millionaire businessman Frank Stronach, whose roots are Austrian, owns rival Austria Vienna.
Jazic says Stronach's club is known as the paycheque team, the Chelsea of Austria.
"He pumps so much money into Austrian football, it's ridiculous," Jazic said. "It's just too bad that money isn't going into Canadian soccer. He loves football."
Stronach has even bought a second division Austrian team, where he wants to develop young local talent in advance of the 2008 European Championships in Austria.
"Too had we didn't have a guy who was willing to do that in Canada," Jazic lamented.
Jazic's time with the Canadian team has been limited, partly through untimely injuries and partly because of a poor relationship with the previous coach. He has just seven caps, spread over six years.
But he is back in the fold and enjoying life under new coach Frank Yallop.
"We've been together for three weeks and I know back at my club team when we go away for two weeks for a training camp, after 10 days guys are just having runs at each other. But this has been like a vacation.
"When it's time to train, we're serious but off the pitch everyone's been getting along. I think a lot of team bonding has happened. We're all close and I think the future looks bright."
Home for Jazic "will always be Halifax," where his family and friends are. He plans to settle there once his soccer career is over.
He's single at the moment, which allows for the travel often needed from a pro soccer player.
"I've always said I'd sort my own life out before I let anybody else in," he said. "Because I don't know where I'm going to finish up. I happened to stay at Rapid for 3˝ years but there was a chance I could have went to Japan. If you have

 

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