Reds Coach John Kosmina has given the reasons behind his decision to hand the captaincy to goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.
The decision to take the captaincy from Jon McKain and give it to Eugene Galekovic was a tough call to make for Coach John Kosmina, but one he ultimately says is the right one for the club.
By his own admissions McKain has not had the best of starts to the season, the experienced defender finding the going tough in his first 11 weeks with the Reds slipping to last on the table. While the decision to relieve McKain of the captaincy was not solely based on his form, Kosmina said it would free McKain of the added pressures and expectations that come with the captain-s tag.
Kosmina admits it was not an easy decision to make, but believes it is one that will benefit the team and just as importantly McKain in helping him to rediscover the form that saw him playing for the Qantas Socceroos in June this year.
“Jon was pretty upset understandably, it was a tough call to make and I thought long and hard about it, but I think in the circumstances it-s in the best interests of the team and the club and in the best interests of Jonny to be honest because his form hasn-t been sparkling,” Kosmina said.
“Now he doesn-t have to worry about representing the players, having meetings and even talk to the media…it-s about him being able to focus on his game and be the footballer I know he can be because I did start him out as a kid 11 years ago.”
“In the end he did the right thing by the team and the club, he put his team mates and the club before himself. He accepted the decision and got on with the job and I thought he trained exceptionally well today as he did yesterday.”
On his choice of who would take over the captain-s armband, Kosmina hailed Galekovic a natural fit to lead the Reds. Since he arrived in Adelaide midway through the 2007/08 season, Galekovic has been a standout between the posts. The 30 year old was named as vice-captain to McKain back in August, however he will now assume the captain-s armband on a permanent basis.
“I will say this about Eugene. Even if you-re a bloke that doesn-t talk a lot, if you-re able to lead by example then you don-t have a better example,” Kosmina said.
“This guy has been the backbone of this club, sometimes on his own, for five seasons that he-s been here.
“He-s had Champions League success, he-s recognised everywhere, and he-s fantastic, so purely on that alone he-s a natural in that regard.”
Being named captain is the latest in an ever growing list of career achievements for Galekovic, which have included two Adelaide United Club Champion awards, winning the Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year twice and making four appearances for the Qantas Socceroos.
“It-s an honour to captain the club, I-m happy and hopefully the boys turn up to play tomorrow night,” a humble Galekovic said when asked what it meant to be given the captaincy.
“I-m not going to change as a person. Obviously Kossie saw something in me that I-ve got leadership qualities but my role on the pitch won-t change, obviously off the pitch there are going to be more commitments but I look forward to it.”
Galekovic, who has made a total of 125 appearances for the club in all competitions and recorded 38 clean sheets - a stat that does not do his contribution justice, was quick to hose down any bad blood between him and McKain over the decision.
“He (McKain) is a professional, he understands and we-ve just to move on. There is still a long way in the season to go,” Galekovic said.