Croatian striker Marko Simic has vowed to produce his best again for Indonesia Liga 1 side Persija Jakarta after rejoining the team following his court trial in Australia.
The 31-year-old footballer was held in Australia for an alleged act of indecency against a woman on a flight from Bali as the club travelled to face A-League side Newcastle Jets in an AFC Champions League 2019 preliminary round two clash back in February.
Simic was arrested by the Australian Federal Police upon his arrival at Sydney Airport and wasn’t allowed to leave the country until the trial was over leaving him out of Persija’s AFC Cup 2019 group stage and Piala Indonesia 2018-19 fixtures.
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But, now the striker has returned from Australia after the legal proceedings and is ready to work harder than ever. “I hope I can replicate my performances from the last season by scoring 45 goals in all competitions. Anyway, I will do my best for the team, to help my teammates, of course, and to take Persija back to the domestic title,” Simic said.
The striker had played a key role as Persija lifted the Liga 1 title last season after 17 years. The Indonesia side had also reached the ASEAN Zone semifinals of the 2018 AFC Cup.
However, in his absence, Persija’s AFC Cup campaign this season has faltered and are already eliminated at the group stages after collecting only four points from five matches so far.
“This is the last warning for him. We will discuss the incident in the coming two days. The point is that we want to ensure that this is his last case of bad behaviour and that such incidents do not take place in the future as it does not help the team either,” Ferry Paulus, CEO of Persija, was quoted as saying by Goal Indonesia.
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Persija are scheduled to begin their Liga 1 season on May 20 when they travel to face Barito Putera at the Demang Lehman Stadium in the opener.