9. EUGENE GALEKOVIC | Melbourne City
A-League apps: 227 (Adelaide United), 26 (Melbourne Victory)
Other clubs: South Melbourne (Australia), Beira-Mar (Portugal)
Achievements: A-League championship (Melb Vic - 2006-07, Adelaide - 2015-16), A-League premiership (Melb Vic - 2006-07, Adelaide - 2015-16), A-League goalkeeper of the year (2008-09, 2009-10, 2013-14, 2014-15)
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
It’s often the case that the past achievements of goalkeepers are overlooked, but if there was any shot-stopper who deserved a spot in Goal’s list of Top 20 A-League players, well, top 10 in the case of this fella, it is Melbourne City’s evergreen Eugene Galekovic.
And it should come as little surprise that the veteran custodian, who is currently preparing for his 18th season in professional football, would be highly regarded by journalists and fans alike, as the league’s finest.
In fact, if anything, it’s hard to fathom that some 12 years ago, the 36-year-old spent more time warming the bench than standing in between the sticks, failing to dethrone rival goalkeeper Michael Theo from his throne at Melbourne Victory.
Sensing an opportunity to establish a legacy, the 36-year-old moved to Adelaide United in 2007 and there, despite winning the Premiership and Championship once, firmly cemented his spot as the best, claiming four A-League Goalkeeper of the Year awards (one more than Theo), was named in the PFA Team of the Season on five occasions, and featured on the PFA A-League Team of the Decade in 2015 amongst other individual accolades.
Whilst Theo has arguably been the more decorated of the two – that is, in terms of the number of A-League Championships won – Galekovic has been a mainstay in the A-League and the nation’s most consistent. He has made eight appearances for the Socceroos too.
Following 256 appearances for Adelaide United, Galekovic linked up with Melbourne City over the off-season, signing for the club on a two-year deal.
Over the past few years, City have showcased much ambition, and their project slowly seems to be taking shape following their FFA Cup victory last year.
Although 36 years of age, the veteran shot-stopper does not look like slowing down and could add experience as well as strengthen a defence that bowed out of the championship with a lacklustre performance in the elimination finals.
And if anything, a return to his home-town Melbourne could potentially see Galekovic reach even greater heights this coming season.
Goal A-League 20:
No.8 in Goal's Top 20 A-League players will be named on Wednesday.