Bali United’s big-name signing Ilija Spasojevic cannot wait to get down to business as his new side edge closer to the start of their 2018 campaign.
Although Indonesia’s Liga 1 is only set to get underway in February, Bali will have an earlier start as they bid to qualify for the AFC Champions League.
They first meet Singapore’s Tampines Rovers on January 16 and, should they win that first preliminary round qualifier, they will then have to see off Thai outfit Chiangrai United and Chinese giants Shanghai SIPG if they are to reach the group stage of Asia’s premier club competition.
Suasana latihan pagi hari ini yang barusaja usai. Bali United terus melakukan persiapan jelang laga melawan Tampines Rover.
— Bali United (@BaliUtd) January 4, 2018
If they come up short, a place in the AFC Cup awaits them and they have already been drawn in Group G alongside Global Cebu (Philippines), FLC Thanh Hoa (Vietnam) and Yangon United (Myanmar).
With such a busy but exciting year ahead, it is no surprise that Spasojevic – signed from champions Bhayangkara in the off-season – is eager to get started.
“I cannot wait to get back in training with my Bali United team-mates,” he said, on the club’s official website.
“I’m feeling in excellent shape to get back in training as we prepare for the various games in 2018.”
Spasojevic will also be hoping a strong showing over the next few months will put him in a good position to win a spot in Indonesia coach Luis Milla’s squad for the end-of-year AFF Suzuki Cup.
A one-time Montenegro Under-21 international, Spasojevic gained Indonesian citizenship last October and won his first cap a month later.
To date, the 30-year-old has netted three goals in four appearances for Merah Putih.
Photo credit: PSSI