ROM BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, BRUNEI DARULSSALAM
Brunei was Ivan Bosjnak’s fourth overseas stop in a well-established 16-year professional career after Libya, Greece and China, but even all his experience in these three countries did not prepare him for what was to come in the sultanate.
Together with fellow Croat Dino Dpric and Guadelopean international Stephane Auvray, the 34-year-old striker was unceremoniously dismissed from former employers Brunei DPMM FC on Wednesday in a press statement released by the club website.
Speaking exclusively to Football OPOD the day after the news broke, the 2006 World Cup player expressed his incredulity on the club’s abrupt termination of his contract three months into the season.
For someone who has played alongside the likes of Luka Modric, Verdan Corluka and Bosko Balaban at professional level, Bosjnak revealed his shock at this level of treatment.
“I have never seen anything like this,” muttered the father-of-one.
“It’s weird and crazy. When I speak with them, it’s finished. I want to do something, (but) things happen.
“I just want to say, this is not the way to shoot and ill-treat a player who has serious injury.”
The former club marquee player had only recently recovered from a series of injuries he was afflicted with since joining the sultanate’s sole professional club early this year.
The most serious case was his skull injury that was inflicted during the team’s 3-3 draw with Hougang United in their first home match of the season.
“I have serious injury,” he continued. “I have broken my bone and blood went into my brain and I could have gotten into big trouble.
“Second game I broke my bone (skull). I need to rest for two months. I didn’t do anything and I said I would be back on the field as soon as possible.”
Bosnjak would subsequently make only four appearances for DPMM and last featured in their 0-2 loss to Warriors FC in Brunei before the sudden termination.
He felt the cancellation totally unjustified because he believed he had yet to display his full array of abilities that made him a Croatian international and feature in the World Cup.
“Maybe I went back too soon and I got one more small injury,” he lamented.
“Now two games I play and I build my power up after two months out, my contract was finished.
“When I need peace and a few more games to fully get my physical and power, now this (happens).”
The grievance came as the multiple domestic title winner in his homeland felt DPMM were impatience and unfairly sacked him due to his lack of goals after so few appearances due to injury.
Bosjnak added: “If I had played 12 games and they told me I wasn’t good enough, I would have said, ‘ok, I will now go home.’
“If I am (involved as a coach or technical staff at a) club, I will never release somebody with injury threat. I will give him (time) to come back and get back into shape and in peak condition.
“If after 10 games (he is still) no good, then he goes.”
The former Croatia Zagreb and Genk forward expressed his exasperation in the manner his fellow new imports were selected and the near-impossible task his compatriot coach Verjan Simunic has in repeating the solid run of results this season as he had last year through these new faces.
“You don’t buy five foreigners (simply) because you buy five foreigners. But that’s what they did,” he added.
“Because you put them on field and they cannot play together. You have to check which kind of player fits then you sign the player who can bring something to the team.
“For example like me, my style of play requires a good playmaker. (But) here they just select imports because they like them, then coach (Simunic) needs to make magic that we can play good, (which is) not easy.”
Despite his trials in Brunei, Bosjnak is not looking to hang up his boots just yet. He has revealed his intention to either continue his career in Southeast Asia, preferably Singapore, or return home to gradually wind up his career.
“I don’t know and don’t care what happened because of the way my contract was (abruptly) cancelled,” stated the former Croatia attacker.
“I am a professional (player) for twenty years and if for them, doing this is professional they need to work like this. I cannot say nothing. This is football here and this is not the only club in the world.
“Now I will be here five more days to settle everything and speak to my agent. Now I am full healthy and full ready, I will look for a new club.”