Loyalty is something you don’t come across often anymore not only in football but many aspects of life.
You can only count a few that are one-club men and Bonnyrigg White Eagles star Nikola Zonjic is one of them.
Even after the club went through hardships, relegation to the then NSW Super League, Zonjic stayed in the red of the White Eagles.
He remains subtle and acknowledges what the club has done for him.
“Bonnyrigg has always been incredible to me and for that reason I never did really desire playing for any other club within the NSW State League.”
“I’ve been very fortunate to play for a club which has given me so much.”
Zonjic did travel abroad for a short spell in the Montenegrin top division.
“I’ve had a brief stint in Montenegro playing for FK Kom.”
“Even though it was a short spell, it was a very good experience.”
“We did train twice a day as FK Kom was a first division side, so I did learn a lot during my time over there.”
Over the years, this fan favourite seems to have been one of the key ingredients to any success Bonnyrigg has had.
“It’s more probably due to the fact that Bonnyrigg has always been very competitive.”
“I’ve played in a number of outstanding sides and thankfully we’ve managed to pick up a fair few titles over the years.”
The White Eagles finished third last season but managed to win the Grand Final.
“We were a little disappointed in finishing third during the regular season.”
“However, we did endure a rough spell mid-way through the year and to have bounced back like we did was very satisfying.”
One of the worst things that could happen to a footballer is missing the biggest game of the year. Zonjic received his marching orders in the semi finals, putting him out of the big one.
“It’s very disappointing missing out on the biggest game of the season.”
In a testament to his character, Zonjic found the lighter side of his disappointment.
“That’s football though and you learn and move on, considering my grand final record though, it was probably better that I did miss out.”
He re-iterates the importance of the win for the club and its supporters.
“It was a very long time since Bonnyrigg did win the IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Grand Final, and we did come close on a few occasions in the past few years, so it was a wonderful day for everyone associated with the club.”
With the new season having kicked off last weekend which started with a Grand Final replay loss to the Rockdale City Suns, Zonjic and the club have set their targets high once again.
“The team is looking very strong. We’ did lose a few good players (Tomasevic, Gullo, Hesketh) but we did manage to keep most of our squad from last year.”
“Bomber and Cliffy have recruited really well in bringing a number of very good young players who all have big futures in the game (Ilic, Fox, Osmond and Jenner).”
“It will be very difficult, but our goal for the year is to go even better than last year, that is winning the grand final and finishing first during the regular season.”
Players and clubs have been screaming for a national cup to attack the countries best and it has finally come.
“Very exciting times for both players and supporters as state league sides will get the opportunity to take on the A-League clubs.”
“It’s also a fantastic opportunity for the younger boys who are aspiring to play in the A league.”
When asked whether he’s looking toward the A-league or Overseas he showed he wants it to end where it all began.
“Maybe if I was a little younger would I have plans to go overseas or the A league.”
“I’m very happy at Bonnyrigg and I couldn’t be more honoured ending my career here.”
-By Nikola Pozder