Tomislav Mrcela could not have asked for a better return to Australia after several seasons abroad in Croatia and Korea.
Mrcela signed from Korean side Jeonnam Dragons with the 28-year-old having never played professionally in Australia after moving to Croatia at a young age.
Now he’s 90 or 120 minutes away from a Grand Final – Mrcela says all players will be focused on Friday’s semi-final against Adelaide United and not on what’s been achieved throughout the season.
“There’s a bit of pressure but this is where we want to be,” he told Evenings on FNR.
“It’s nice to have that pressure of a home semi-final and be the favourites.
“But it’s one game so we need to put everything behind us.
“For one game we need to play our best and get to the Grand Final.”
Despite only making 12 appearances for the Glory this season, Mrcela has been an integral part of the Glory’s back four – which maintained the league’s best defensive record.
The Glory host Adelaide United in the first semi-final at HBF Park on Friday night – having had the week off while the Reds defeated Melbourne City in dramatic fashion late in extra time.
Mrcela became the latest player to heap praise on head coach Tony Popovic for his ability to inspire the team and build a strong culture which led them to a drought breaking premiership.
“Every training session and every game is very important…he makes every [player feel important and that they can contribute,” Mrcela said.
“The atmosphere is key for success, it’s not just about quality in the team.
“You need that spirit and know that your teammate is going to do everything for you – it’s been a highlight seeing how we’re all fighting for each other.
“We all contribute, whenever someone gets injured another player is ready to step up…it’s really been a pleasure being part of this team.”