Ante Covic
Ante Covic WSW.jpg
Covic as goalkeeper for the Wanderers in 2013
Personal information
Full name Ante Covic[1]
Date of birth (1975-06-13) 13 June 1975 (age 47)
Place of birth Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
1995 Hurstville Zagreb
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1997 APIA Leichhardt Tigers 23 (0)
1997–1999 Marconi Stallions 46 (0)
1999–2001 PAOK 8 (0)
2000AO Kavala (loan) 15 (0)
2001–2002 Dinamo Zagreb 0 (0)
2002–2007 Hammarby IF 121 (0)
2007–2009 Newcastle Jets 54 (0)
2009–2011 IF Elfsborg 59 (0)
2011–2012 Melbourne Victory 24 (0)
2012–2015 Western Sydney Wanderers 78 (0)
2015–2016 Perth Glory 28 (0)
2017–2018 Rockdale City Suns 49 (0)
2018 Wellington Phoenix 0 (0)
Total 505 (0)
National team
2006–2008 Australia 2 (0)
Teams managed
2018– Marconi Stallions (goalkeeping coach)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Ante Covic (Croatian: Ante Čović; [ˈaːntɛ ˈtʃɔːʋitɕ]; born 13 June 1975) is an Australian former soccer goalkeeper.

Covic is a member of the Australian national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and represented Australia on two occasions.

Personal life

Covic is of Croatian heritage. He is married to Vanessa Covic and has two children, Emelie and Christopher.[2]

Club career

He formerly played for Marconi Stallions and Sydney Olympic in Australia's National Soccer League, PAOK Salonika and AO Kavala in Greece and Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.

Hammarby IF

After Australia in 1999, Covic made numerous appearances for various European clubs before arriving in Hammarby IF, a Swedish club based in Stockholm. There he battled Erland Hellström for the spot as first keeper. About a month into the Swedish Allsvenskan series, Covic made his debut between the posts (however, not his debut game with Hammarby as he made an appearance roughly three weeks earlier in a cup game) and after that he was more or less given in the starting eleven.

Covic left Hammarby in 2006 after having played 121 games - a feat that has only been surpassed by three other goalkeepers in the club's history.[3]

Newcastle Jets

Ante Covic training with Newcastle in 2008.
Ante Covic training with Newcastle in 2008.

Covic made his A-League debut in a 3–2 loss to Adelaide United in December 2006 at Hindmarsh Stadium. Čović was the starting goalkeeper for Newcastle Jets in the 2007 season, in which he won the A-League championship. On 17 March 2009, it was announced that Covic was leaving the Jets for a three-year deal with Swedish club IF Elfsborg.

Melbourne Victory

On 4 October 2011, Covic signed a one-year deal with Melbourne Victory as an injury replacement for Tando Velaphi, who was ruled out for 12 weeks. Čović debuted in the opening game of the A-League season against Sydney FC at the Etihad Stadium. Covic achieved instant hero status with the home fans when he saved Emerton from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute, he was named man of the match in the 0–0 draw. He was again named man of the match after the Melbourne Derby two weeks later.

In the A-League fifth round match between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory in 2011, Covic, along with fellow Victory defender Matthew Foschini, were controversially sent off by referee Ben Williams for challenges against Roar defenders, reducing the Victory to playing with nine men throughout the match.[4]

On 1 May 2012, it was announced new Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou would not resign the veteran goalkeeper, opting to stay with younger goalkeepers Lawrence Thomas and Tando Velaphi. This decision followed Covic inning the Player's Player of the Year award at the Melbourne Victory Awards Dinner.

Western Sydney Wanderers

On 2 July 2012, Covic joined A-League expansion club Western Sydney Wanderers on a free transfer.[5] The Wanderers performed above expectations and won the Premier's Plate in their maiden season,[6] with Čović being named in the inaugural A-League All-Star team.[7] He helped his side to win 2014 AFC Champions League, keeping 8 clean sheets in 12 matches. The Wanderers defeated Al-Hilal in the final, after which he was named as MVP of the tournament.

Perth Glory

On 8 July 2015, Covic joined Perth Glory.[8]

Rockdale City and retirement

In June 2016, at the end of his contract, Covic decided to leave Perth Glory to return east to be closer to his family,[9] and joined Rockdale City Suns in January 2017.[10] He retired from football at the end of the 2018 NPL season in November 2018, after two seasons at the club, to take a position as goalkeeper coach for Marconi Stallions.[11] In December, he joined Wellington Phoenix as short-term injury cover following an injury to first-choice goalkeeper Filip Kurto.[12] He remained on the bench for the duration of the side's 3–1 win over Sydney FC.[13]

International career

He was part of the Australian squad for the 2006 World Cup play-offs against Uruguay and was Australia's third choice goalkeeper behind Mark Schwarzer and Zeljko Kalac for the finals in Germany.

He made his debut for Australia against Bahrain on 22 February 2006 in an Asian Cup qualifier. On 22 March 2008 he earned his second and last cap against Singapore in an international friendly and was captain for part of the second half after Harry Kewell and Jade North left the field.

Career statistics

As of 15 May 2015

CS = Clean Sheets

Club Season Division League1 Cup International2 Total
Apps CS Apps CS Apps CS Apps CS
Marconi Stallions 1997–98[14] National Soccer League 25 14 0 0 0 0 25 14
1998–99[14] 21 7 0 0 0 0 21 7
Total 46 21 0 0 0 0 46 21
PAOK 1999–2000[14][15] Alpha Ethniki 4 1 2 2 3 1 9 4
2000–01[15] 4 0 1 0 0 0 4 0
Total 8 1 3 2 3 1 13 4
AO Kavala (loan) 1999–2000 Alpha Ethniki 15 ? 0 0 0 0 15 0
Total 15 ? 0 0 0 0 15 0
Dinamo Zagreb 2001–02 Prva HNL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hammarby IF 2002[14][15] Allsvenskan 20 0 0 0 2 0 22 0
2003[15] 26 12 0 0 0 0 26 12
2004[14][15] 26 9 0 0 4 1 30 10
2005[15] 26 8 0 0 0 0 26 8
2006[15] 23 9 0 0 0 0 23 9
Total 121 38 0 0 6 1 127 39
Newcastle Jets 2006–07[16] A-League 8 3 0 0 0 0 8 3
2007–08[14][16] 25 8 5 2 0 0 30 10
2008–09[14][16][17] 21 3 3 1 2 1 26 5
Total 54 14 8 3 2 1 64 18
IF Elfsborg 2009[17] Allsvenskan 29 10 2 0 6 4 37 14
2010[17] 17 5 0 0 4 2 21 7
2011[17] 13 6 2 1 3 1 18 8
Total 59 21 4 1 13 7 76 29
Melbourne Victory 2011–12[16] A-League 24 3 0 0 0 0 24 3
Total 24 3 0 0 0 0 24 3
Western Sydney Wanderers 2012–13[16] A-League 29 11 29 11
2013–14[16][17] 28 10 12 8 40 18
2014–15[16][17] 21 3 1 0 6 2 28 5
Total 78 24 1 0 18 10 97 34
Career Total 405 121 13 4 42 21 460 145

1 – includes A-League final series statistics
2 – includes continental tournaments and FIFA Club World Cup; AFC Champions League statistics are included in season ending during group stages (i.e. ACL 2014 and A-League season 2013–14 etc.)

National team statistics

As of 23 January 2014

CS = Clean Sheets[17]