He’s a familiar face among A-League circles, but how much do you know about Eugene Galekovic? Here’s everything you need to know about our new goalkeeper.
His full name is Eugen-Josip Galekovic. His surname will be of interest to Scrabble fans, earning you no less than 19 points.
A glittering CV
Born in Melbourne, Galekovic returns to his hometown after a 10-year stint in South Australia with Adelaide United.
During his 238 appearances for the Reds, Galekovic forged a reputation as one of the country’s premier shot-stoppers, winning multiple club and personal accolades, many of which came as captain.
He has also gained experience playing in continental competitions, starring in the Red’s march to the 2008 AFC Asian Champions League Final and featuring in the subsequent 2008 FIFA Club World Cup campaign.
A perfect fit at the back
Blessed with excellent reflexes and distribution, Galekovic has proven to be one of the most consistent keepers in the A-League over the past decade.
But it is his ability with the ball at his feet which acts as the ideal complement to City’s style of play. The shot-stopper is well suited to playing out from defence and is known to initiate attacks with his quick and accurate distribution.
Galekovic’s class is there for all to see. He has been crowned A-League Goalkeeper of the Year a record four times and has earned selection in the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Team of the Year on five occasions.
He also sits in third on the all time A-League appearance list (238), behind Wellington Phoenix defender Andrew Durante (268), and Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic (278).
Galekovic was part of the Socceroos squad for the past two World Cup’s in South Africa and Brazil and was also a member of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup winning squad.
He has made eight senior appearances for the Socceroos since making his debut in an Asian Cup qualifying match against Indonesia in 2009.
Starting his career in the National Soccer League (NSL) as a 19-year-old in 2000, Galekovic burst onto the scene for Morwell-based club Gippsland Falcons, before joining South Melbourne the following season.
He stayed with South until the NSL’s closure in 2004, where his performances saw him become the first-choice goalkeeper for Australia’s Olympic football campaign at the Athens Olympics.
One for you, one for me
Following a short stint in Portugal with Beira Mar, Galekovic was signed by Melbourne Victory ahead of the inaugural A-League season in 2005.
An unusual rotation policy saw Galekovic start 11 matches of the season, with teammates Michael Theo playing the other 10.
Galekovic later signed for Adelaide United as a replacement for the injured Daniel Beltrame in 2007. The rest, as they say, is history.
Galekovic’s transition to life at the City Football Academy will be made easier with the presence of a few friendly faces.
He played with Bruce Kamau and Osama Malik at Adelaide United, and was at the club when promising City defender Ruon Tongyik was earning his stripes in the Reds' youth team.