Official release from Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory today announces that former Qantas Socceroos goalkeeper, Ante Covic, has joined the club on a one-year deal.
Covic returns to the Hyundai A-League for a second time after initially representing the Newcastle Jets in seasons 2007/08 and 2008/09, before the twice capped Socceroo headed back to Sweden where he spent the past two seasons at IF Elfsborg.
The 36 year-old said, “As a family we felt it was the right move for us. Melbourne Victory is a great club and they have been very successful, so the opportunity to come back now was the perfect fit.”
“Every Aussie that plays overseas keeps an eye on the A-League and wants it to succeed. So it is great to come back and be part of it and you couldn’t ask for a better start to the season than this Saturday night against Sydney FC.” Covic added.
While Covic’s signing is a positive one, the news isn’t so good for current Number 1, Tando Velaphi, who has suffered a stress fracture of the tibia and will be sidelined for 6 – 10 weeks.
While bitterly disappointed for Velaphi, Melbourne Victory Football Director, Francis Awaritefe, was clearly delighted to have signed a player of Covic’s experience at such short notice.
“We’re thrilled to have Ante join the club.” he said.
“With Tando (Velaphi) going down on the eve of the season, it was vital we find a top-line replacement and Ante’s record speaks for itself.”
“Tando has come on in leaps and bounds since he arrived in Melbourne and it’s a terrible blow for him, but we’re hopeful he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”
“In Ante we have a highly experienced goalkeeper, and subject to international clearance, will slot straight into the team, which, considering the season is only a matter of days away, is a huge bonus.”