Keeper of the Year cool on World Cup hopes

Eugene Galekovic isn’t getting carried about his World Cup chances despite winning his third Goalkeeper of the Year gong at Monday’s A-League Awards.

The award suggests that the 32-year-old Adelaide United custodian is Australia's best goalkeeping option behind likely first-choice Socceroos pair Mat Ryan and Mitch Langerak.

The likes of Brad Jones, Danny Vukovic and Adam Federici appear to be Galekovic’s stiffest opposition for the third-choice keeper spot, but are not playing regularly. Also in the mix are A-League stoppers Mark Birighitti and Ante Covic who he trumped to the award.

Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou may opt for an experienced third-choice goalkeeper given the inexperience of Ryan, 22, and Langerak, 25, who boast a combined eight international caps.

Galekovic is a three-time A-League Goalkeeper of the Year who was part of the World Cup squad four years ago and has more than 250 games experience in Australia. 

However, the gloveman refused to get carried away by his latest individual accolade.

“I’m hoping obviously to be part of the squad,” Galekovic told FourFourTwo.

“The season is over so I can only keep myself in the best shape possible and hope I do get my call-up. I’ll just keep training.”

Galekovic will stick to his usual program over the next few weeks in the lead-up to the World Cup squad selection in mid-May alongside other hopefuls such as Michael Zullo and Young Socceroos including Awer Mabil.

The veteran keeper said the 2013-14 campaign under Josep Gombau had been one where he’d added new skills to his game.

“The last six years I’ve been at Adelaide, I’ve been good at my shot-stopping and making a lot of saves, but this year is completely different,” Galekovic said.

“I’ve made a lot less saves because we keep possession, but I’ve had to get better with my feet and coming off my line.

“I had to adjust. The big factor was my team-mates. At the start we didn’t know the positioning we needed, but it got better as the season went along.

“Sometimes I would receive the ball on my left and ping it off on my right without even looking knowing my right-back would be in that area. It’s a matter of learning each other’s habits.”

Galekovic offered premiers Brisbane Roar a big compliment when he said Josep Gombau's Reds hoped to develop like the grand finalists.

“We look at Brisbane over the past two years who’ve got really good at what they do. Everyone knows what to do,” Galekovic said.

“We’ve learnt the basics of our movements. All the players are excited about the way he wants us to play.”

However, the keeper said this season’s sixth place was disappointing despite the overall progress made.

“As a whole it was disappointing, because we want to win things,” he said.

“At the start it was tough, if we’d have picked up a few wins early we would’ve finished higher and maybe got a home final. But we got better as the season went and we’ll have a good base for next season.