Galekovic looking forward to Dodd return

Eugene Galekovic admits it will feel somewhat strange going up against his friend and former team mate Travis Dodd tonight.

Eugene Galekovic admits it will feel somewhat strange going up against his friend and former team mate Travis Dodd tonight.

On top of the precious three points on offer, Thursday night-s showdown against Perth Glory contains some added and anticipating interest with former Reds skipper Travis Dodd set to return to Adelaide for the first time since he signed with the Glory at the end of last season.

Over his six seasons at the club, Dodd became very much the face of Adelaide United as he amassed 183 appearances and 41 goals in all competitions.

His impact and contribution cannot be understated, and Galekovic knows tomorrow night-s game will be a special occasion and carry added sentiment both for Dodd and United-s fans.

“Obviously he was a great captain and a great player for the club and a very good team mate, so I-m sure he is going to enjoy it and it-s going to be good playing against him because it-s always good to play against friends,” Galekovic said.

“I reckon he-ll get a great reception (from the fans). He is a legend of the club and people should treat him like that because he did a lot.”

But any fanfare for Dodd is sure to stop come kick-off now that he is an adversary.

For three and a half years, Galekovic and Dodd shared the highs and lows at Adelaide United during a time that peaked with a place in the 2008 AFC Champions League Final, the FIFA Club World Cup in the same year and a Hyundai A-League Grand Final appearance.

Galekovic and Dodd developed a friendship over that time and while they remain friends off the field, the world of professional sport inevitably sees players move on, which Dodd did at the end of last season as he headed to Perth.

Galekovic said he expected the confrontation of being on the other side to Dodd during the game to be similar to whenever players face former team mates.

“It-s always strange going up against ex-team mates and it-s going to be no different on Thursday,” Galekovic said.

“I-m sure he-ll be trying to score and get into the penalty area as much as he can to try and put one away.”

“It-s going to be a big game. It-s Travis- first game back and Hughesy (Adam Hughes) is also another ex-player, so it-ll be good for the crowd to come out and support us and hopefully we can get one over them.”

While there is a large degree of mutual respect between the two, Galekovic will not be doing Dodd any favours if the former Reds number 13 happens to get a sight on goal.

“If they get a penalty he might try to step up for it, but I don-t think he-s ever scored a penalty against me, so he-ll be low on confidence in that area,” a tongue-in-cheek Galekovic joked.

On a more serious note, Galekovic is the first to admit and accept that in a season that promised so much, it has failed to live up to expectations. The Reds captain is definitely not making excuses and believes there are no secret remedies, but rather just hard work at training, that will get the club back to where it wants and expects to be.

“It has been disappointing. There-s no hiding from it and everyone has to look at themselves in the mirror and see where they can improve,” Galekovic said.

“We-ve still got games in the A-League and the ACL, so it-s not over yet, we-ve still got a long way to go, and we know we-ve got to change things, we-ve got to get better.”

“The only way we can get better is on the track, doing every session to the best of our ability and I know if we do that the results on the score sheet will change.”