How Mijatović is excelling in a foreign position
Melbourne City midfielder Milica Mijatović is enjoying a fantastic start to life in the Westfield W-League.
The Serbian international has slotted into the City squad with ease and despite only arriving in Australia one month ago she’s become a regular in the starting 11, notching two goals and one assist in her first four Westfield W-League appearances.
But what makes Mijatović’s early season form even more impressive is she’s doing all of her best work from left midfield; a foreign and unpreferred position for the 28-year-old.
“My best performing position is attacking midfield,” Mijatović told w-league.com.au.
“So as a number 10 or playing as a nine, but as a false nine.
“But it’s not really hard fitting into a team like (City), so even if my position is slightly different it’s just fine and it’s working really well.
“Within this team I think most of us can play different positions, so therefore in a game there’s quite a lot of rotations on the pitch.
“I can find myself on the right side, more centrally, or wherever and it feels good, it feels okay.”
Mijatović has burst out of the blocks in her debut Westfield W-League campaign on the back of a successful season for Arna-Bjørnar in Norway’s Toppserien division, where she scored seven goals in 21 games in 2019.
The creative midfielder has a diverse footballing CV having also played in the domestic leagues of France, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and her native Serbia.
Travelling to Australia with an abundance of European footballing experience under her belt, Mijatović says she was instantly impressed with the calibre of players in the Melbourne City squad and the facilities the club boasts from the moment she arrived.
“I’ve been here for almost a month already,” Mijatović said.
“We have a really good squad and really good players; most of them are Matildas.
“It wasn’t really hard for me to fit in.
“I heard a lot of good things about the W-League, we have a lot of good players here; international players and players who have been playing overseas in the US.
“The things I’ve heard are even better now I can see them since I came here.
“When it comes to the club I think Melbourne City is maybe a bit different to the other clubs because it’s a member of City Group, obviously everything we have access to is absolutely on the highest level of professionalism.”
Mijatović’s performances have been steadily improving since Round 1 but it was against Sydney FC on Sunday afternoon when she truly announced herself to the Westfield W-League.
Assisting a goal and scoring one of her own, Mijatović blew the game open with powerful running and clinical finishing in a performance which earned her side a 2-1 win and a first-time appearance in the Westfield W-League Team of the Week.
“It (TOTW) has been spoken about, it’s definitely an honour to be among all those top players.
“The feeling is amazing.
“I’m happy and grateful that I get to contribute to the team, and it allowed us to win one of the most important games in the league.
“After missing a few chances before I scored the goal I was feeling kind of frustrated, so scoring a goal was definitely a breakthrough and game-changer, a winner.
“That period of the game was quite intense; we were creating a lot of chances and we were trying to break through and the goal came in the right moment.”
City’s gritty win over the Sky Blues sent them equal top of the ladder with Western Sydney Wanderers on 10 points.
Both teams have three wins and one draw to their name after four rounds but the Wanderers have a bye in Round 5, meaning City can go to the top of the table with a positive result against Melbourne Victory on Thursday night (7:30pm AEDT).
Facing last season’s Premiers in her first Melbourne Derby, there’s no need to teach Mijatović about the importance of the game.
As she sets her sights on helping her side continue their fantastic start to the season with a win over their biggest rivals, Mijatović knows a win will put them in first place and the drivers seat as they gun towards the title.
“That’s something we’re aiming for; I think it’s in the club’s DNA to be winners and our goal and my personal goal is to win the league,” Mijatović said.
“It’s a derby game; the derby means a lot.
“It’s a game different from any other.
“Of course we play to win, we want to win more than another game.”
Thursday, 12 December 2019
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: ABD Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports