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CCF Rebooted 33: Daniel Bogdanovic
CCF Rebooted 33: Daniel Bogdanovic
Friday, 1st Jul 2022 15:39 by AtThePeake

A Dale debut goal vs Preston, partnering Paolo Di Canio and a scandal involving a Maltese government official. It's time to take a look back at the career of Daniel Bogdanovic.

Position: Striker

Arrived from: Blackpool (loan)

Left for: Blackpool (end of loan)

Played : 2012

Appearances : 5

Goals : 1

Signing on the same day as Kurucz as one of Chris Beech's first acts as interim manager, Bogdanovic arrived, scored and put in a man of the match display against Preston on debut, then proceeded to do little else in his short spell with the club.

Born in Libya but raised in Malta, Bogdanovic first appeared in the Maltese Premier League in the 2000/2001 season for Sliema Wanderers and he would appear for Vasas, Naxxar Lions and Valletta over the next two seasons, scoring a total of 24 goals in 41 appearances before spending six months with Bulgarian outfit Cherno More (which, incidentally, is a phrase I shouted quite a lot while playing Championship Manager 2001/2002 in years gone by).

After one goal in seven games for the Varna outfit, Bogdanovic returned to Sliema, but after just one goal in 10 appearances found himself on the move again, this time joining relative minnows Marsaxlokk.

He notched his first goal for his country during this spell, scoring the opener in a 2-2 home draw with Kazakhstan. Unfortunately for Bogdanovic, it would be the only time he scored for Malta in 41 caps.

14 goals in 21 appearances convinced Sliema that he was worth another shot, and he was slightly more prolific for the nation's most decorated club in his third spell with 10 goals in 22 appearances, but he again found himself back at Marsaxlokk the following summer.

It was in this season that Bogdanovic really made a name for himself though, topping the league's scoring charts with a whopping 31 goals in just 28 appearances and firing his club to a first ever league title in the process.

Unsurprisingly, these goalscoring feats alerted clubs on the mainland of the continent to his progress and he was snapped up by Italian fourth-tier outfit Cisco Roma in the summer of 2007, where he played alongside an ageing Paolo Di Canio in a one year spell in the Italian capital.

After four goals in 16 games for Cisco, he returned to Bulgaria to join Lokomotiv Sofia, where former Sliema Wanderers goalscoring hero Danilo Dončić was assistant manager. However, Bodganovic managed just two goals in 14 appearances for the Railwaymen over an 18 month spell before he was purchased by Barnsley for an undisclosed fee.

Following a debut goal in a defeat to Ipswich Town, Bogdanovic enjoyed a fine spell at Oakwell, scoring 16 times in 45 Championship appearances over 18 months and it came as a surprise when he was released by the Reds at the end of the 2009/2010 campaign.

Nomadic though he may have been, Bogdanovic didn't have to move too far that summer and found himself snapped up by fellow South Yorkshire outfit Sheffield United, but in one miserable season at Bramall Lane he featured mostly from the bench and scored just five times in 33 outings as the Blades were relegated into League One.

As a result, he made a £250,000 switch to Blackpool that summer and appeared to be finding his feet when he scored a brace in a 2-0 win over Bristol City, but with first-team opportunities quickly drying up he moved to Rochdale on loan on January 2nd and just hours later found himself in the starting eleven against the Tangerines' arch-rivals, Preston North End.

In this game, Bogdanovic was everywhere. After seeing a header crash against the bar in the early stages, he cancelled out Jake Jervis' opener by side-footing home a Nicky Adams cross and, perhaps in an attempt to endear himself to the supporters of his parent club, celebrated in front of a sizeable travelling contingent.

However, Bogdanovic's performance levels quickly dropped after this display. A powerful but not exactly mobile target man, partnering him with the ageing Brett Ormerod was perhaps not Chris Beech's smartest idea and the two looked lost as a strike partnership in the following games.

Dale would score just once in Bogdanovic's following four games and pick up a solitary point and fans were left scratching their heads at how a player could look so threatening in one game and so toothless in the following four.

Or perhaps he wasn't actually all that threatening against Preston, but he had a long name and a headband and scored a tap-in? To Dale fans starved of hope at that point of the season, that may well have been enough to set pulses racing.

Bogdanovic didn't add to the eight appearances and two goals he'd managed at Blackpool in the remainder of the season, although he did enjoy the exact same record of eight appearances and two goals during a later loan spell at Notts County.

As his Blackpool spell ended, a 32 year old Bogdanovic returned home to join Mosta and scored five times in 13 appearances before short spells with Valletta again (9 appearances, 0 goals) and Floriana (4 appearances, 1 goal).

In December 2021, Bogdanovic found himself in the middle of a political scandal in Malta when he was given a €15,000 contract by Minister for Education Justyne Caruana to draft a report on ways to improve the National Sport School. An 89 page ethics report found that there was a concentrated effort to 'hide Bogdanovic's competence' and that the final work was actually done by one of Caruana's consultants. It was alleged that the minister and Bogdanovic were romantically involved at the time and Caruana resigned in the aftermath of the report.

Prior to this, his rapidly declining playing career had ended in the Gozo Football League with spells at Victoria and Xewkija Tiger. He remains in the league today as the head coach of Għajnsielem FC, with whom he finished second in the 2021/2022 campain.

Photo: Action Images

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