Melbourne City confirm international signing with ‘big bonus’: He’s eligible for the Socceroos!

Melbourne City have announced the signing of Croatian attacker Marin Jakolis on a one-year loan deal from Ligue 2 side Angers SCO.

The 26-year-old joins the club after making 11 Ligue 1 appearances last season, before the club were relegated to the French second tier at the end of the campaign.

Jakolis spent the second-half of the season at Cypriot side AEK Larnaca on loan, making 17 appearances, including four in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

In a bonus for City, Jakolis won’t occupy one of the club’s foreign visa slots due to having an Australian passport through his dad, meaning he is eligible to represent the Socceroos.

INS AND OUTS: Isuzu UTE A-League 2023-24 Transfer Centre

“My father is Australian, and he lived in Melbourne for 15 years,” Jakolis said.

“I decided a couple of days after getting the offer that I wanted to join. I didn’t need to think a lot about it, yes, my father is from here, but I saw the opportunity to join the team and help them achieve their goals, so it was an easy choice.

“The fans can expect to see a player that will always give 150%. I think I have good dribbling and technical quality but whether it’s a good game or a bad game, I will never drop my effort on the pitch.

“This is my first time here in Australia which is why I was so excited to come here. Everyone I
talked to had nothing but great things to say about the country and I only heard positive things, so it’s great to be here.”

Jakolis admitted that working his way into the Socceroos fold is an ambition of his, but said his primary focus for now is helping City achieve domestic success this season.

“I want to help the team as much as I can,” he said.

“I want them to succeed in everything they want to this year. This is a team game, so obviously, I want the best for the team. I have my own expectations to be the best that I can, to help the team as much as I can.

“And of course, there is Australian national team as well that that comes to my mind… This is one of the goals as well.

“If you have a great season here, then I’m expecting to have a great season. I’m expecting, with this team to make a lot of good things.

“So obviously, if you play good and if an Australian national team calls me, then it would be a perfect as well.”

Jakolis has played primarily on the left wing, but has been used on both sides throughout his career.

The winger has also spent time playing for the likes of Croatian giants Hajduk Split, in Austria at Admira Wacker and Belgian outfit Roeselare – along with representing Croatia at youth team level – scoring five goals in 15 appearances for their Under 21 side.

City will be hoping Jakolis’ arrival will help offset the loss of Marco Tilio – who signed for Scottish giants Celtic – as they look to retool their squad ahead of the upcoming campaign.

“To be able to attract a player who last season was playing in Ligue 1 and is now coming into
the peak of his career is very difficult, so we are extremely pleased Marin has decided to join us,” City Director of Football Michael Petrillo said.

“He is a player who works hard with and without the ball, which is essential to our style of play.
Added to this, he has great technical ability, good speed and his excellent dribbling skills allow
him to take on defenders 1-on-1.

“He is also able to play in a variety of positions which, added to the fact he holds an Australian passport, is a big bonus for us.”

Jakolis is the club’s ninth off-season signing as the reigning Isuzu UTE A-League premiers look to rebuild their squad after a plethora of high-profile departures, including Tilio, Jordan Bos, Tom Glover, Aiden O’Neill, Scott Jamieson and Valon Berisha.

The likes of former Udinese midfielder Tolgay Arslan, French defender Samuel Souprayen, and A-Leagues veterans Jamie Young, Terry Antonis and Steven Ugarkovic are some of the new faces City have brought in to help bolster their squad.

City will begin their 2023-24 campaign on August 13, when they take on reigning NPL Victoria champions Oakleigh Cannons in the Round of 32 of the Australia Cup.