Adelaide United FC and Qantas Socceroos goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic has arrived back in Adelaide after being part of Australia’s 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign in South Africa.
Galekovic has returned home after spending the past five weeks in South Africa as the Qantas Socceroos’ third choice keeper after being elevated into the 23 man squad to replace Brad Jones, who was granted leave due to a serious illness in his family. It was not the circumstances the Adelaide United Club Champion wanted to gain his place in the national squad.
“I was there as a fourth choice, and I was expecting I would be a chance (to get into the squad) if there was an injury, but for it to happen like it did, it was shocking news, all of the boys were devastated (for Brad) and it was definitely bitter sweet,” Galekovic said. But as bitter sweet as it may have been, Galekovic definitely cherished the opportunity to be involved in Australia’s 2010 World Cup experience, although he also conveyed the Socceroos’ players disappointment at not reaching the Round of 16.
“It was unbelievable and just a great experience to train with the boys, be with the boys and go through a World Cup,” Galekovic said. “We were unlucky not to get a win against Ghana, even though we played with ten men, so we finished on a high but in the end we didn’t make it past the Group Stage.”
If Mark Schwarzer, Australia’s first choice keeper at 37 years of age, is anything to go by, Galekovic still has a number of years standing between the posts in front of him, and a taste of the experience in South Africa already has the 29 year old looking ahead to four years time at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“That’s my next aim,” Galekovic said. “In four years hopefully I can do it again in Brazil and who knows if Schwarzer is going to be around or not, the number one spot might be up for grabs.”
However, to give the dual Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year the best chance of remaining amongst Australia’s best shot stoppers, he knows it is likely he will have to ply his trade in the bigger leagues overseas. While he is still fully committed to Adelaide United, Galekovic admits if the opportunity arose to further his career elsewhere, he would have to consider the options.
“I’m obviously here for now and if something does come up I’m going to have to look at it because I want to be involved in another World Cup,” Galekovic explained. “If the chance does come along I definitely have to look at it, the club knows that and they’ve been good about it.”
Galekovic will resume training with the Reds on Monday ahead of United’s season opener against the Newcastle Jets on August 6, and he tips Germany to be the team holding the World Cup aloft once the tournament comes to a close.
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