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FORGOTTEN SADDLERS – ZDRILIC

14 June 2013

Profiling those Saddlers that came and went in the blink of an eye...

AS WE embark upon a year of celebration to mark Walsall FC’s 125th Anniversary, a lot will, quite rightly, be said about the most popular players or those who have made the most appearances for the club over the years.

But what about those players that came and went in the blink of an eye? They may have only appeared on a handful of occasions, but nevertheless, have made a contribution to the history of this great club of ours.

We will be highlighting some of the forgotten Saddlers from the Bescot Years, continuing with an Australian goal-getter who played his part in keeping us in the second-tier of English football in 2002/03...



The summer of 2002 saw a proven goalscorer arrive at Bescot Stadium in the shape of an International striker who had once scored eight times in one game for his country!

David Zdrilic excelled at both tennis and soccer whilst growing up, but soccer was to be his chosen path as he progressed through the ranks at St. George Saints before joining Sydney United.

He actually started out as a full-back but it became apparent that his best position was up front and such was his prowess in front of goal that Terry Venables gave him the first of 30 caps for Australia, during which time he scored an impressive 20 goals.

Trying his luck in Europe, he moved to Germany and served the likes of Aarau, SSV Ulm and Unterhaching, from where he was signed by The Saddlers.

Scoring five goals in a total of 29 games during 2002/03, including a brace in a home defeat to Rotherham, a goal at Blackburn in the League Cup and the winner against Wimbledon in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Sadly, a calf injury meant that we never saw the best of him in a Walsall shirt and 12 months after joining the club, he was off to Aberdeen.

He then returned to Germany for a spell before heading back to his homeland for the start of the A-League in 2005 as he served Sydney FC.

Since working as a football pundit for both the Fox Sports News Channel and ESPN Sportscentre, he resumed his playing career with Sydney United in 2009 as well as doing his coaching badges. He also does work for the Australian PFA.

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