Goalkeeper Bondzulic latest Birds signing

COVER : Swallows coach Zeca Marques
COVER : Swallows coach Zeca Marques

MOROKA Swallows welcomed the arrival of their newest import and second confirmed signing for the new season, Serbian goalkeeper Igor Bondzulic, yesterday.

The Dube Birds earlier confirmed the signing of 22-year-old former United FC midfielder Tswarelo Bereng on a three-year deal, while Bondzulic will have his first training session with the side today.

"We are very excited to welcome our new keeper and we are confident he will bring a lot with him to the side," said Swallows coach Zeca Marques.

Bondzulic has been brought in to replace Aubrey Mathibe, who asked to be released from his contract at the end of last season to play for AmaZulu. The 32-year-old Serbian becomes the third goalkeeper in Swallows' books, alongside last season's first-choice keeper Greg Etafia and the inexperienced Sage Lottering.

Who is this little-known goalie?

The tall goalie, standing at 1.91m, began his professional career late, having made his debut in the Serbian second tier league for FK Javor Ivanjica ageg 26 in 2007.

He spent the following season in the Bulgarian premier league where he featured for PFC Lokomotiv Sofia before returning to Serbia to rejoin FK Javor Ivanjica after they had been promoted to the premier division.

He then switched allegiance, joining league rivals FK Jagodina in 2010 and spent the next three seasons at the club. The past season, where he was the first-choice keeper, Bondzulic helped the side win the Serbian Cup for the first time in their 94 years of existence and finish fourth in the league.

Bondzulic conceded 24 goals in 30 matches (including two Europa League qualifiers) in the past season, which included 12 clean sheets. What exactly attracted Swallows to the Ivanjica- born keeper?

"From what I have seen, he is very good in the air, he handles crosses exceptionally well and commands the 18-yard area very well. He has a huge presence and personality, his positioning and distribution is exceptional. He is just a solid all-round keeper," coach Marques said.

Marques added that he was hoping to finalise his squad for next season within the next two weeks. The coach indicated that further signings would be announced next week as he looked to bolster his striking department.