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Galekovic close to Reds return

Soccer

Former Adelaide United great Eugene Galekovic is close to returning to the Reds.

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United’s owners have again shown their intention to bring former players into the fold, by luring the popular and respected gloveman back to Adelaide to form part of the club’s new coaching team.

Indaily understands that, pending final agreement, Galekovic – who recently called an end to his playing career – will become United’s goalkeeper coach.

He would be responsible for Adelaide’s three senior goalkeepers – Paul Izzo, Daniel Marguš and Isaac Richards. Izzo and Marguš had also been Galekovic’s understudies during his time at Adelaide.

Galekovic is much-loved and highly respected by Adelaide United’s fans, players and staff, and the club’s leadership believes he would be an integral part of the culture the Reds are aiming to build.

Galekovic made his debut for Adelaide United in November 2007, shortly after being signed by Aurelio Vidmar as cover for the injured Daniel Beltrame.

After 238 A-League matches and 67 clean sheets for the Reds, he left the club at the end of the 2016/17 season as one of its greatest-ever players.

In a career full of accolades, Galekovic made 388 appearances in all club competitions for Australian teams, including in the National Soccer League, A-League, Pre-Season Cup, FFA Cup, Asian Champions League (in which he was a runner-up with the Reds in 2008) and FIFA Club World Cup.

He won two A-League Championships and Premierships, with Melbourne Victory in 2006/07 and as captain of Adelaide United in 2015/16, and lifted the inaugural FFA Cup with the Reds in 2014.

Galekovic was awarded A-League Goalkeeper of the Year a record four times, and featured in the PFA Team of the Year on five occasions.

Given his Socceroo debut by Pim Verbeek in 2009, he made nine appearances for Australia (eight senior caps, one ‘A’ international), gained selection for two World Cup squads (South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014) and was part of the Asian Cup team that triumphed on home soil in 2015.

He also represented the Olyroos at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Galekovic is expected to form part of a coaching team that will be led by Dutchman Gertjan Verbeek.

Verbeek possesses an impressive résumé, having coached at the highest level in Netherlands and Germany.

In the 2011/12 season, Verbeek’s AZ Alkmaar team (featuring former Socceroo Brett Holman) progressed to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, before being eliminated by a Valencia side managed by current Arsenal boss, Unai Emery.

The move for Galekovic follows the recent appointment of another former fan favourite, Jonas Salley, to an assistant coaching position at Qingdao Red Lions, the Chinese League Two club founded by Adelaide United chairman, Piet van der Pol.

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