Adelaide United FC goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic continues to make steps towards possible inclusion into Australia’s World Cup squad, after playing in the Qantas Socceroos’ win over Indonesia last night, but his focus remains on doing well in every game he plays.
Galekovic returned home this afternoon after keeping a clean sheet, as the Qantas Socceroos booked their place at next year’s AFC Asian Cup with a dominant 1-0 win over Indonesia in Brisbane.
The visitors only managed two shots at goal for the night, in which Galekovic was called into action just once, but while the 28 year old admitted that it was pleasing to be rarely required, it was still a mentally tough night at the office.
“It’s good to have nights like that, but it’s hard as well because you have to focus for 90 minutes, and you don’t want to make a mistake or else it will be a blunder,” Galekovic said.
“It’s one of those things. You have to stay focused, even though the ball is down the other end you have to stay focused for 90 minutes. One slip up can cost you a lot of things, so it’s mentally draining when you’re out there, even though you’re not doing much you still have to stay focused.”
The match was Galekovic’s fourth for the senior national team, and his second clean sheet, his selection in this latest match leaving the dual Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year, possibly starting to think about securing a seat on the plane to South Africa.
Galekovic, who made the most saves of any goalkeeper in the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 Season, is in contention for one of the three goalkeeper spots for the World Cup, but he is not getting ahead of himself despite Verbeek speaking to him prior to the game against Indonesia about the current situation.
“We had a chat before the game and he (Verbeek) went through the other keepers and how they’re going in Europe and gave me a little indication that I am a chance,” Galekovic said.
“He just said keep doing well for Adelaide, there’s no promises but if things fall into place then I’m a chance.”
Verbeek has signalled the importance of players vying for selection to be playing up until the squad is selected in May, and Galekovic has no better preparation to be at the top of his game as the Reds confront some of the best teams in Asia.
The next test for Galekovic is an AFC Champions League encounter away against Chinese Super League team Shandong Luneng, who toppled Sanfrecce Hiroshima in their opening match day of the competition.
Near freezing conditions are expected to greet the Reds in China, but Galekovic says after enduring trying conditions through its 2008 ACL campaign, they will be up for the challenge.
“They’re going to be a good team. They’re in the Asian Champions League for a reason so we’re going to expect a hard game, especially over there so the boys are looking forward to it,” Galekovic said.
“It’s better going from hot to cold than cold to hot, so it will be easier to adapt and you’ve just got to do these things. We did it in 2008 and it wasn’t a problem so it will be another experience and hopefully it’s a good experience.”
Galekovic and the rest of the United’s travelling squad for the match against Shandong Luneng will depart for China on Saturday afternoon. The match will be played on Wednesday 10 March 2010 at the Shandong Sports Centre (Kick-Off 6.00pm ACDT).