After the high profile signing of former Slovenia and NK Maribor midfielder, Amir Dervisevic, SC East Bengal buckled up their defensive options by securing the signing of 30 year old, Australian centre back Tomislav Mrcela for the upcoming 2021-22 ISL season.Also Read - ISL 2021-22: SC East Bengal Signs Dutch Midfielder Darren Sidoel
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The East Bengal Management have been very busy lately, ticking the right boxes and efficiently procuring players to lift the Red and Gold Brigade up for the new season. Mrcela was born in Australia but moved to Croatia at a young age. In the initial stages of his career, the Croatian-Australian tall defender mostly played in the lower tiers of Croatia before moving to first tier sides- Hrvatski Dragovoljac and NK Lokomotiva Zagreb, where he played for the latter in the UEFA Europa League qualifying campaign in 2015-16 season and even scored a goal against one of the successful sides in Croatia, Hajduk Split. After his long spell in Croatia, he moved to Asia to Korean side Jeonnam Dragons and after that in 2018 he finally moved back to the country of his birth on a two-year deal to play for A-League side Perth Glory. For Glory, Mrcela has made a total of 32 appearances scoring 3 goals and even featured in the AFC Champions League. In 2015 he was called up to the Australian National Team in a World Cup Qualifying game against Kyrgyzstan, where he was among the substitutes but didn’t make any appearance. Also Read - ISL 2021-22: SC East Bengal Ropes in Former Slovenian International Amir Dervisevic
Tomislav Mrcela is a very strong defender who showcases a lot of aggression on the pitch and he is even good with his head, something which newly appointed coach Manolo Diaz would love to have in his backline. The Australian has made over 200+ appearances in his career scoring 10+ goals in the process and he was even close to a move to Bengaluru FC in April. Mrcela’s addition will surely firm up the back four along with the likes of Adil Khan, Raju Gaikwad and Ankit Mukherjee.