Mate's second coming

When Mate Dugandzic burst onto the scene for Melbourne Victory halfway through the 2009-10 Hyundai A-League season, it seemed the footballing world was at his feet.

When Mate Dugandzic burst onto the scene for Melbourne Victory halfway through the 2009-10 Hyundai A-League season, it seemed the footballing world was at his feet.

Two days after his 20th birthday he scored two goals against Adelaide United and the fans were hailing him as the potential heir apparent to Archie Thompson. Five months later as Victory made a concerted challenge for the title, Dugandzic's star had dimmed somewhat as injury and confidence took their toll.

Football is full of stories of youngsters who disappeared as quickly as they arrived on the big stage. Dugandzic doesn-t want to be one of those and based on his star performance in last week's opening match against Sydney, where he scored one goal and set up another, he wants to make the most of his second coming.

"Obviously I've gained a lot of confidence from that. The main thing is to keep it going I suppose. It-s going to be another tough fixture against Perth on the weekend. Hopefully we can get a positive result and I can continue my form," he said of his strong early-season form.

He admits that his inability to maintain the momentum from that match against the Reds last October was as much to do with his mental attitude as his young body's inability to cope with a hectic schedule.

"I suppose I was a bit over confident after that, I didn-t keep my feet grounded at all. But with a great family behind me, I'm a bit wiser. Hopefully that doesn-t happen again," he said.

"I'm just really looking forward to the game against Perth. It-s the first competitive fixture at AAMI Park. Hopefully we will be able to get a big crowd and play really well as well."

For Dugandzic it-s not about goals, but about taking the opportunity given to him by injuries to Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse.

"We're struggling for strikers at the moment. Me and Carlos played up front for the first half, Billy came on and also played an attacking role. While those other guys are out everyone has to take their opportunity while they can and hopefully I can cement my spot," he said.

Dugandzic said he is confident the culture at Victory will help him keep his feet grounded this time around.

"We-ve got a great collection of older players as well, with Musky, he's got great experience, so does Brebner. All the experienced players know what to do, and what they shouldn-t do and we get a lot of confidence for that. Ernie is fantastic in giving young kids a go. Me and Krusey, we-re fairly young and he's been giving us a chance, that's good for everyone at the club," he said.