Although defender Jonathan Bateson is already auditioning to become Ross County’s next right back, the club is giving a second player a shot at the position. Mihael Kovačević, a 24 year old Swiss defender of Croatian descent, will begin a trial with the club either tomorrow against Highland League side Nairn County F.C., or Wednesday against League One Conventry City F.C.- or perhaps he’ll play in both matches. Kovačević’s career on and off the field is quite interesting- let’s take a look!
Born in Basel Switzerland to Croatian parents, both countries have played a roll in his football career as well. Kovačević was part of the youth teams at both BSC Old Boys in Switzerland and Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia before making his professional debut at F.C. Koper, one of the best teams in Slovenia’s top division. While at Koper he also played for both the Croatian and Swiss U21 sides. His next move was to Dundee United F.C. where he played for three seasons and was part of the Tangerines side that defeated Ross County in the 2010 Scottish Cup, ending the club’s Cinderella run. Following the final season of his contract with Dundee United during which injuries kept him out of all but two matches, Kovačević moved to Croatian side NK Zadar on a free transfer. During the 2011-2012 season with the Dalmatian side he made seven appearances.
Based on a Google Image Search I did the imposing 6’4″ defender is not one to shy away from conflict on the pitch. In numerous pictures from different matches Kovačević can be seen receiving a card- often a red one. Kovačević’s “drive” was also evident off the pitch while at Dundee United- in 2011 he pled guilty to driving 95mph in a 40mph zone. He was originally cited for driving 104mph in a 40mph. The best part is that his initial “defense” was that he mistook a railroad speed limit sign for the roadway speed limit sign. The sign for the railroad was a 70mph sign, so at “best” he was doing somewhere between 25 and 34 mph over the limit. I’m not going to say that Kovačević did this on a city street, but it was pretty close to that- he was pulled over in front of TJ Maxx- or “TK Maxx” as it is called in the U.K.
Kovačević (and Bateson) will want to do well in these matches as the club is rumored to have plans to bring in three more trialists over the coming week.