Monday, November 26, 2012
Galekovic playing for keeps in Hong Kong
By Rob Forsaith
Adelaide United shot stopper Eugene Galekovic is no longer the forgotten man of Australia's healthy goalkeeping stocks, and plans to show why at the upcoming East Asian Cup qualifying tournament.Galekovic and Central Coast's Mat Ryan are the only two keepers in the A-League-laden squad that will contest the Hong Kong event, which starts for Australia on Monday with a match against the hosts.The 20-year-old Ryan has attracted interest from Championship club Hull, while 31-year-old Galekovic has been in stellar touch over the past year and is arguably the competition's best custodian.The Reds top the A-League ladder, having conceded just five goals in eight matches, and Galekovic had five clean sheets in the side's Asian Champions League campaign this year."I think the last three or four years have probably been the best part of my career and hopefully I can keep going," Galekovic said."Look at Mark Schwarzer, he's 40 and he's still playing some good football."Who knows, I could still be going for another six or seven years."Galekovic is no stranger to the Socceroos set-up, having been called up to the 2010 World Cup squad when Brad Jones withdrew to be with his ailing son.Even with Jones missing it was Adam Federici who played the role of Schwarzer's understudy in South Africa.The most recent of the veteran's four international caps came against Indonesia in 2010, and that was before Mitch Langerak played his first game for German champions Borussia Dortmund.Galekovic knows better than most how stagnant the queue behind ageless Schwarzer can be but it far from frustrates him."I think it's great for the country," he said after being called on by national coach Holger Osieck for the first time."There's so many good keepers out there. It just makes you work and push that little bit harder."Galekovic senses a move offshore is required if he's to put his hand up as Schwarzer's long-term replacement."I still think if you're in Europe, you're a better chance (of gaining national selection) because of the level."It does make it tough on goalkeepers back in Australia ... but I've got my chance now and I'm happy to be here."Galekovic's only experience outside Australia is a short stint at Portuguese side Beira-Mar, which was saddled between the death of the National Soccer League in 2004 and the start of the A-League one year later.Few suitors have been knocking on his door as of late but Galekovic would be open to such offers."You want to play at the highest level possible. If that's in Europe or Asia I'd have to have a look at it."A dominant showing at the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament could well be the ticket.