Lopar out of comfort zone

At 34 year's of age, with a young family and living in Switzerland, Dani Lopar could have taken the easy option by playing out his career in the surrounds of his homeland and in a competition where he was comfortable. 

But sit down for a little while with the new Wanderers foreign recruit and you quickly learn that this man is not one to rest on his laurels or take short cuts. 

After 13 years and 299 games with St. Gallen in the Swiss Super League, the experienced goalkeeper desired a new and exciting adventure. 

With his daughter "at the right age" and his wife also happy to try something new, Lopar jumped at the opportunity when the Red & Black came knocking. 

“I was 13 years at the one club and it was just the right moment to move because my daughter, who is two, is in the right age,” Lopar said. 

“I am fit and healthy and it is one of the reasons I take this possibility.

“I knew also that Pirmin (Schwegler) was coming (to the Wanderers) so that made the decision a little easier. I knew Pirmin from our younger days with the Swiss youth teams.

“So far it has been very good being here. My family and I have settled in very well.

“Sydney is a wonderful city and has a high quality of life similar to back home.”

Lopar


Lopar has easily fit in at the Wanderers and has made a quick impression thanks to his work rate in goals. 

The experienced keeper has been safe and assured, pulling off a number of quality saves in the club's pre-season friendlies to date, notably one against English club Leeds in July. 

Lopar said he was aware of the Hyundai A-league and had seen some games on television prior to joining the Red & Black with the keeper full of praise for the training set up and the facilities at the Wanderers home base in Blacktown. 

“I saw some games on the tv and it is a league that is growing up," said Lopar. 

Lopar


The keeper makes no secret of the fact that he is determined to help the club win trophies and be a guiding hand to the next generation of young goalkeepers at the club. 

"Obviously, I want to take in the culture here and explore more of Sydney, but my main aim is to win trophies and to help my teammates. That is very important to me," explained Lopar. 


Still on the right side of 30, Lopar has no doubts that he can continue playing for "at least another three or four years."

"As long as I am fit and healthy and happy, yes, I will continue to play. I love my football and I believe I can still make a good contribution," he added. 

"In the meantime, I can't wait for the competition to start."

The next time the Wanderers members and fans will see Lopar in action will be Wednesday night's FFA Cup Round of 16 clash against Sydney United. You can get your tickets to the match here.