MARQUEE off-season signing Paul Ivanic has played his last game for the Monaro Panthers after transferring to Canberra FC for the remainder of the 2012 season.
The veteran striker said his final farewell to the Panthers late last week after agreeing to terms to rejoin his former club.
Ivanic was lured to Monaro from Canberra FC with great fanfare earlier this year and after a slow start to the season had appeared to be hitting form with four goals in his last four appearances.
Monaro coach Nejgosh Popovich described Ivanic’s loss as disappointing but said the club would not be dwelling on the defection.
“Obviously it is a big blow but at the moment we’ve just got to get through the rest of the season and look toward next year,” Popovich said. “We’ve looking at a few younger guys coming over to the club next season and with the base we’ve built we’ll be well prepared [for 2012].”
Ivanic had been set to sit out the next three to four weeks of the Panthers campaign regardless after succumbing to Osteitis Pubis.
Canberra FC’s stocks up front have taken a hit in recent weeks after midseason signing Domenic Giampaolo missed the side’s last-start victory over the Cooma Tigers with a broken hand.
Popovich said youngster Cameron Dalzell would be the likely option to replace Ivanic for the rest of the year.
“There’s been nothing definite decided as yet but Cam is doing very well in that [forward] roll at the moment,” Popovich said. “He stepped up to the plate on the weekend so I think we’ll keep him up front next to [striker] Tony [Haider].”
Dalzell got his name on the score sheet in the top grade for the first time last Sunday after finding the back of the net in the Panthers 1-1 draw with Canberra City.
This weekend will see the Panthers looking for just their second win of the season when they take on Woden Valley at Seiffert Oval.
ACT Premier League, round 14
Who: Monaro Panthers v Woden Valley
Where: Seiffert Oval
When: Sunday, 3pm