Adelaide goalkeeper Galekovic set for another milestone
When Adelaide United’s number one walks out against North Queensland Fury at Hindmarsh Stadium, it will mark his 100th senior game in Australia’s leading domestic competitions, combining appearances in the old National Soccer League (NSL) and the Hyundai A-League.
“It has come along pretty quick. With the new A-League it’s exciting and to play my 100th, it’s a little bit of an achievement,” Galekovic said.
Galekovic made his senior national league debut with Eastern Pride (Morwell Falcons) as a 19 year old, before joining South Melbourne in 2001 and then heading overseas for a season with Portuguese club Beira Mar. He then returned to Australia and was signed to Melbourne Victory for the start of the Hyundai A-League, where he started in the club’s first match against Sydney FC. But the minutes on the field soon dried up for Galekovic, as he became the second string keeper to Michael Theoklitos.
Seemingly on the outer, that all changed when he received a call from United Coach Aurelio Vidmar in the early part of the 2007/08 season, with an offer to join The Reds as cover for the long term injury to Daniel Beltrame. Galekovic accepted, and now after a host of accolades and selection for the Qantas Socceroos since arriving at the club, the rest is history.
“Considering where I was two years ago, if I look back now I might have almost hung up the boots if Adelaide United didn’t come,” Galekovic said.
“I was sitting on the bench at Melbourne Victory for a couple of years and it was getting to the stage where I didn’t enjoy it anymore, but then Adelaide United gave me a new lease of life so I have to be thankful.”
The other fascinating piece of Galekovic’s story is that from a young age, his first love was Australian Rules Football, rather than the round ball game that he has come to master as a goalkeeper. As a boy his desire was to run around an Aussie Rules oval, however with his parents not prepared to let him take it up due to its tackling and contact element, the next best thing, he thought, was to give it a go at being a goalkeeper. As he looks back now, he is definitely not regretting his decision.
“I always loved Australian Rule Football but my parents wouldn’t let me play it, so the next best thing was being a goalkeeper,” Galekovic said.
“When you’re a little boy you want to play professional sport and you aspire to that from day one but when you hit the 16-17 year old mark, that’s when you might get a chance and I happened to get one and I took it.”
Growing up, Galekovic idolised former Australian and Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, who was renowned as one of the world’s best in his prime. Galekovic is now renowned as one of the best in Australia’s current crop of keepers, and he surely grasped where he is at when he was presented his Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year Award from Bosnich.
“I’ve always like Mark Bosnich because he’s Australian and at the time he was the best keeper going around. He was a great shot stopper and he had that bit of flamboyance,” Galekovic said.
Even though, the 28 year old still has ambition to go overseas, Galekovic is happy to be in Adelaide and helping the team towards a successful 2009/10 campaign, both in the Hyundai A-League and next year’s AFC Champions League.
“I have to be grateful for Adelaide United to have given me a chance, and hopefully I have repaid a little bit back to them,” Galekovic said in gratitude of his current club.