Mate Dugandžić (born 22 October 1989 in Melbourne), Australia) is an Australian footballer of Croatian origin who is currently on loan to NK Lokomotiva Zagreb from their affiliated club Dinamo Zagreb. Mate is well renowned for his explosive pace and ability to both score and create goals.
Dugandžić burst onto the footballing scene in 2006, making his debut at the young age of 16 for Victorian Premier League
team Melbourne Knights
, making 7 appearances for the season. In 2007, Dugandžić played an important role in helping the club secure second spot in the Foxtel Cup scoring 4 goals in his 24 appearances and creating many others throughout the season, most notably the second round of the Finals where he set up Anthony Pelikan
for the winner against Oakleigh Cannons
seconds after being substituted on.
The teenager's performance grabbed the attention of many clubs such as A.S. Roma
, Sydney FC
, Wellington Phoenix
and most notably the Australian Institute of Sport
who showed their interest, as well as the Croatian Football Federation.
Mate was on trial for 3 weeks with the first team of Dinamo Zagreb in December 2007. Despite the interest of other clubs, Dinamo were favourites to land a deal with Mate because of his Croatian background and when Dugandzic found out that Dinamo were interested he refused to negotiate with A.S. Roma
, according to his representative Eddie Krncevic
. After the duration of his trial period had completed he was then signed by the club along side Melbourne Knights
colleague Daniel Visevic who had trialed with the club as well. Since signing with the club, and commencing playing matches with the Dinamo reserves Mate has performed well, scoring and providing numerous assists, according to his agent. It is expected that a first team appearance may arrive for Mate in season 2008/09.
In July 2008, Mate was loaned out to Dinamo Zagreb affiliated club NK Lokomotiva Zagreb
from the Croatian Second League