Belfast Telegraph

Top finisher Antonio Duric has plenty more in store for Glentoran, says McDermott


Instant impact: Antonio Duric delighted Mick McDermott by scoring on his Glens debut
Instant impact: Antonio Duric delighted Mick McDermott by scoring on his Glens debut
Mick McDermott

By Alex Mills

Glentoran boss Mick McDermott believes he's unearthed a gold nugget in new signing Antonio Duric.

The 21-year-old striker only recently arrived in east Belfast, but he's already won over the fans.

He announced himself on his debut in Monday night's thumping 4-0 win over Institute at the Oval - a victory that lifted McDermott's boys to fifth in the Danske Bank Premiership table.

Having replaced the impressive Elvio van Overbeek late on, Duric required merely 10 minutes to open his goal account. There are more to come, make no mistake about that.

By that stage, the game was already done and dusted with Hrvoje Plum bagging a brace - although Robbie McDaid may still put in a claim for the second one - while unfortunate Stute defender Caoimhin Bonner began the night of torture by heading into his own net.

McDermott, who had to serve the second of a two-match suspension after being dismissed at Ballymena United, was thrilled with Duric - and his team's overall contribution.

"Antonio is still only 21 years old," said McDermott.

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"He came through the ranks a Dinamo Zagreb and has been here for a couple of weeks on trial.

"He played his first game for the reserves at the weekend and scored a hat-trick against Institute.

"It was good to see him in the first team environment - and he didn't do himself any harm at all. He pops up to do what he does best, score with a header late on. He is a really cool finisher, I think everyone witnessed that.

"To be honest, in training, he is one of the best finishers I've seen for some time - hopefully that continues."

If it was a Monday night breeze under the towering, iconic shipyard cranes, McDermott is expecting something entirely different when Premiership new boys Larne come to town on Saturday.

He added: "I would say that most of the football pundits will make Larne favourites to win it, based on their personnel and how they have been building the football club.

"But we'll be ready to put in a shift against them.

"If we battle the way we can, and with the quality we have in the team, it should make it quite a game.

"I was delighted with our application and our performance against Institute. To get the win with a clean sheet and four goals was impressive.

"Credit to the players because they were outstanding. I had the pleasure of watching it from the grandstand and I thought we were outstanding all over the park.

"People keep asking me about targets. Is it top four, top six or European qualification? There are a number of targets in terms of accomplishing things.

"But one of our genuine targets was to be competitive against every team, whether it is home or away. We want to make the Oval a place where teams will come and suffer.

"I certainly think our players are up for that challenge.

"I'm pleased the way they performed, pleased the way they worked for each other and pleased with the reaction of the crowd, who again came out to support the team despite the fact that the game was on television."

McDermott also hailed the performance of Croatian midfielder Plum, who bagged a sensational 30-yard free kick in the first-half.

"We see it every day in training from Hrvjoe," he adds.

"That just doesn't happen. He spends time perfecting that skill. It was really special to see the ball hit the net.

"It was similar to the one he scored against Coleraine. We took him off towards the end to him a bit of a rest."

Belfast Telegraph


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