Spearwood-born goalkeeper Jason Petkovic reached the pinnacle of the game in Australia. Between 1994 and 2009 he won two National Soccer League grand finals, was named Goalkeeper of the Year on three occasions and made fifteen 'A' appearances for the Socceroos. Additionally, Petkovic kept a national league record of 107 clean sheets through spells with Adelaide City and Perth Glory.
It was clear from an early age that Petkovic was destined for big things. At the age of 19 he helped Spearwood Dalmatinac defeat Perth Italia to win the 1991 Pro-League Cup, and two years later starred in his club's Night Series final win over Stirling Macedonia. During his three years as a first team player with Spearwood Petkovic represented the State on three occasions, the first of which arrived in 1992.
Having carved out a reputation as a promising young 'keeper, Petkovic trialled in England and Norway before accepting an offer to join National Soccer League club Adelaide City. He played only a handful of games in his first season, debuting on home soil against Wollongong City in January 1994, but would eventually replace Socceroo Robert Zabica between the posts.
The opening day of the 1994/95 season heralded the start of an astonishing 145 consecutive appearances by Petkovic for Adelaide that spanned five seasons. With little over a season in Australia's top flight under his belt Petkovic earned his Socceroos debut in November 1995's win against New Zealand. He turned out against Japan in February 1996, and was back in national team colours later that year against Kenya at the Simba Cup in South Africa.
The 1996/97 NSL Goalkeeper of the Year stood between the posts for Australia's World CUp qualifier win over the Soloman Islands in June 1997. His second Goalkeeper of the Year trophy arrived a year later, as did further Socceroo honours against South Korea, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Tahiti, New Zealand and the United States of America. Petkovic marked the end of his time with Adelaide by playing in Australia's 'B' fixture with Manchester United.
Denied the opportunity to join Scottish club Glasgow Rangers by work visa problems, Petkovic headed back to Australia where, in November 1999, he signed for Perth Glory. Despite a succession of coaches he'd remain the clubs' number one goalkeeper for six seasons. Petkovic's safe hands were instrumental in Glory topping the NSL table in his first season, however, he was unable to prevent Wollongong Wolves winning the 1999/2000 Grand Final in a penalty shoot-out.
In February 2001 Petkovic became the third quickest player in NSL history to reach 200 games, taking just 7 years and 5 days. His reputation as one of Australia's top goalkeepers was enhanced by by a run of eight clean sheets towards the end of 2000/01, the reward of which was a Socceroos call-up against Japan in August.
Petkovic was instrumental in Glory topping the table again in 2001/02 but, like two years earlier, he'd finish on the losing Grand Final team, this time to Sydney Olympic. Petkovic entered the 2002 Oceania Nations Cup as the Socceroos first choice goalkeeper, playing against Vanuatu, Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand, the latter his final outing with the national team.
The final NSL seasons brought many rewards for Petkovic, starting with a third Goalkeeper of the Year and a long-sought Grand Final winners medal at the end of 2002/03. He figured just as prominently the seasons after when Glory stormed their way to the regular season title before downing Parramatta Power in the last NSL Grand Final. With the Australian national league in recess Petkovic played 2004/05 in Turkey with Konyaspor.
The inaugural A-League season brought Petkovic back to Glory where he quickly cemented his place as the clubs top goalkeeper. But a horrific broken leg suffered while playing Central Coast Mariners in October 2006 threatened to end his career prematurely. Petkovic, however, had no intention of bowing bow out and returned to the line-up for the last three games of 2008/09. He played a handful of game the following season before calling time after playing Melbourne Victory in January 2009.
|15.11.1995||New Zealand (Newcastle)||3-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|14.02.1996||Japan (Melbourne)||3-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|21.09.1996||Kenya (Pretoria)||4-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|16.06.1997||Soloman Islands (Sydney)||6-2 (won)||World Cup qualifier||Full game|
|11.02.1998||South Korea (Sydney)||1-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|25.09.1998||Fiji (Brisbane)||3-1 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|28.09.1998||Cook Islands (Brisbane)||16-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|02.10.1998||Tahiti (Brisbane)||4-1 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|04.10.1998||New Zealand (Brisbane)||0-1 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|06.11.1998||United States of America (San Jose)||0-0 (draw)||Friendly||Full game|
|18.07.1999||Manchester United (Sydney)||0-1 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|15.08.2001||Japan (Shizuoka)||0-3 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|06.07.2002||Vanuatu (Auckland)||2-0 (won)||Oceania Nations Cup||Full game|
|10.07.2002||Fiji (Auckland)||8-0 (won)||Oceania Nations Cup||Full game|
|12.07.2002||Tahiti (Auckland)||2-1 (won)||Oceania Nations Cup||Full game|
|14.07.2002||New Zealand (Auckland)||0-1 (loss)||Oceania Nations Cup||Full game|
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This page was last updated on the 1st June, 2010.