(Notre Dame, Ind.) Holy Cross men's soccer Captain, Niko Jelicic (Sucuraj, Croatia), has continued to garner praise and attention after an exceptional junior season where he was named a 1st Team All-Conference member while helping lead the Saints to a school record 9 wins and first ever conference tournament berth.
At the conclusion of his junior season where he finished with 9 points (2 goals, 5 assists), he received an invitation to Orange Beach, Alabama to participate in the 2012 Tourbeau College Soccer Showcase.
After a successful week of working with other select players and coaches from across the country, Jelicic received invitations to try out for the Ottawa Fury and Michigan Bucks of the Premiere Development League (PDL); the top-level men's soccer competition in the United States. He decided to take the opportunity to return back to Canada, and signed with the Ottawa Fury where he will report to training camp on May 1st.
"We are truly delighted for Niko as he has not only helped put our soccer program on the map but he has helped put Holy Cross on the map," said head coach Omar Gallo. "Not only has Niko developed as a soccer player, but he has put in the work outside of athletics to raise his grade point average to a 3.7. It's amazing to see how far Niko has come both on and off the field since he came here. I truly couldn't be happier for him."
Jelicic was also rewarded this past month as an Academic All-American in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
"I'm extremely excited to play for the Fury this summer," said Jelicic. "It's honestly amazing how well everything has worked out for me. I don't think I could have joined a better organization at this point in my career."
Jelicic felt very comfortable in finding out that Fury head coach Stephen O'Kane's philosophy was similar to one he's already accustomed to.
"Coach O'Kane's philosophy is rather identical to coach Omar's, which was the biggest selling point to take me to Ottawa this summer," continued Jelicic. "When we spoke together he explained very clearly that he instills an ‘us against the world' mentality. We as players are a family and have to fight for not only our individual progress, but also the success of the team. This will be an extremely beneficial tool as I continue to grow as the leader I am aspiring to become for my final season at Holy Cross."
On behalf of Holy Cross Athletics, we'd like to congratulate Niko on all of his accomplishments this season! Be sure to stay tuned this off-season to hear all about Niko's progress as he continues his journey as a Holy Cross student athlete with Ottawa Fury this summer!