WANDERERS striker Tomi Juric feels like a footballer again and, just as importantly, a valued member of coach Tony Popovic's plans.
That wasn't always the case for the 21-year-old as he chased his dream in Europe.
Juric had limited success playing for Croatian clubs Lokomotiva and NK Inter Zapresic before breaking on to the A-League scene last summer with Adelaide United - scoring two goals in seven games.
Now he feels settled back in his home town with the support of his family, friends, partner, and a coach widely considered unlucky to miss out on the Socceroos job.
"I had a lot of disappointments overseas behind closed doors but I'm here now and I'm happy," Juric said.
Juric will indeed feel alive when he steps on to Allianz Stadium to take on the Sky Blues in what should be a sold-out Sydney derby on Saturday night - the first of these heated fixtures he will play in.
"I'm very excited about it. Both teams will have a point to prove," he said.
Meanwhile, Juric said there was no danger the Wanderers will be taking Sydney FC lightly despite their 4-0 loss to Brisbane last Saturday night.
"They just had a bad game that night but you can't compare the Sydney derby to any other game - the pride of the city will be on the line," he said.
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