No upping ante for Covic against former club Melbourne Victory

While he is looking forward to playing his former team, the Wanderers custodian holds no animosity over his departure at the end of the 2012-13 season Indonesia   By STEVE ORME

Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic says he has nothing to prove to former club Melbourne Victory in Saturday's A-League clash at Parramatta Stadium.

The 37-year-old was crowned the Victory's player of the season last campaign but was overlooked for a spot in Ange Postecoglou's squad for the 2012-13 campaign, with shot-stoppers Tando Velaphi and Lawrence Thomas already contracted.

"I think I've proved myself well enough over the length of my career, especially over the last couple of year so I've actually got nothing to prove to Melbourne Victory," Covic said.

"They made a decision not to keep me on and that's their decision.

"I've moved on to a club that I'm very happy with... I'm totally focused on the Western Sydney Wanderers and I'm enjoying my time here."

But the veteran goalkeeper admits he is looking forward to facing his former team-mates for the first time.

"It's always nice to play against a club you've played for previously," Covic said.

"I had a good season there last year, team wise we didn't do as well as we wanted to but that's in the past now and I'm playing with Western Sydney now and obviously I'd love to have the upper hand with Melbourne Victory.

"I think that just comes natural when you play against a team you've been with... you just want that upper hand and it's going to be a good experience for me.

"I keep in touch with a couple of the boys and the closer it comes to the game I suppose there might be a couple [of text messages] here and there."

Covic was outstanding for the Wanderers on Sunday, producing several top-class saves to lead the competition newcomers to a gutsy 1-0 victory over the Glory in Perth.

Coach Tony Popovic praised the custodian's contribution so far in the club's maiden A-League campaign.

"He's been great, he's a great leader and we're very pleased to have him at the club," Popovic said.

"On and off the field he's been fantastic, he had some work to do on the weekend and he showed his true quality.

"He'd be the first to admit he hasn't had much to do so far but he showed why he's here and why he's such a well regarded keeper on the weekend."

Covic was equally complimentary towards Popovic, conceding the fledgling club has exceeded his expectations in the opening seven rounds.

"I think they've done an amazing job setting up the club with the staff that they've got running the show," Covic said.

"They couldn't have picked two better coaches [Popovic and Ante Milicic] to come in.

"They've taken their time in building the squad and the on-field performances in my opinion have been excellent, but we know we've still got a long way to go.

"It's taken a long time for me to come back to the region where I started my professional career and I'm really, really enjoying it at the moment."

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