Ernie Tapai
Personal information
Full name Ernest Tapai
Date of birth (1967-02-14) 14 February 1967 (age 54)
Place of birth Subotica, Yugoslavia
Height 168 cm (5 ft 6 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1989 Footscray JUST 100 (10)
1989–1990 Sunshine George Cross 15 (0)
1990–1992 Adelaide City 35 (6)
1992–1993 Stoke City 0 (0)
1993–1994 Estoril 13 (1)
1994–1996 Gippsland Falcons 48 (8)
1996–1997 Collingwood Warriors 24 (1)
1997–1998 Perth Glory 15 (2)
1999–2000 Home United ? (?)
2001 Clementi Khalsa 16 (3)
2002 Westgate
National team
1990–1998 Australia 37 (6)
Teams managed
2007 Corio
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ernie Tapai (born 14 February 1967) is a former Australian soccer player who spent the majority of his career in the Australian National Soccer League (NSL). He also had stints in England, Portugal and Singapore. Tapai played 52 times for Australia, including 37 times in full international matches.

Early life

Tapai was born in Subotica, Yugoslavia (now in Serbia). He migrated to Australia with his parents as a young child.[1][2][3]

Playing career

Club career

After playing as a junior for Melbourne Hungaria, Tapai signed for Footscray JUST ahead of the 1985 National Soccer League season.[4] He made at age 18 in the National Soccer League. After playing with Sunshine George Cross and Adelaide City Tapai moved to Europe to play for English side Stoke City.Stoke City.[5] He never got much of a chance at Stoke making just once appearance for the club which came as a substitute in a 2–2 with Crewe Alexandra in the Football League Trophy on 6 January 1993.[5]

Tapai then signed with Portuguese club Estoril, participating in the 1993–94 Primeira Divisão season, where he scored his only goal against Benfica, but moved back to play in Australia. He went on to play for Gippsland Falcons and Perth Glory before playing for three years in Singapore with Home United and Clementi Khalsa and retired after the 2002 season with Westgate.[6]

After ending his playing career Tapai went into coaching.[7]

International career

Tapai played 52 games (37 'A' games) for the Australian national team between 1986 and 1998. He was part of the Australia squad that claimed 2nd place at the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup. Australian manager Terry Venables received criticism for bringing on Tapai in the 1997 World Cup Qualifier against Iran. Australia needed a goal and Tapai was not the man many viewed as being a viable attacking option.[8][9][10]

Career statistics

Club

Source:[11][12]

Club Season League Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Footscray JUST 1985 National Soccer League 22 3 22 3
1986 National Soccer League 26 4 26 4
1987 National Soccer League 21 2 21 2
1988 National Soccer League 17 0 17 0
1989 National Soccer League 14 0 14 0
Total 100 10 100 10
Sunshine George Cross 1989–90 National Soccer League 15 0 15 0
Adelaide City 1990–91 National Soccer League 9 4 9 4
1991–92 National Soccer League 26 2 26 2
Total 35 6 35 6
Stoke City 1992–93 Second Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Estoril 1993–94 Primeira Divisão 13 1 13 1
Gippsland Falcons 1994–95 National Soccer League 20 5 20 5
1995–96 National Soccer League 28 3 28 3
Total 48 8 48 8
Collingwood Warriors 1996–97 National Soccer League 24 1 24 1
Perth Glory 1997–98 National Soccer League 15 2 15 2
Career total 250 28 0 0 0 0 1 0 251 28

International

Source:[13]

National team Year Apps Goals
Australia 1990 3 0
1991 2 0
1992 11 1
1996 6 1
1997 10 3
1998 4 1
Total 36 6

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 8 July 1992 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Australia  Croatia 1–0 3–1 Friendly
2 27 October 1996 Olympic Stadium, Papeete, Tahiti  Tahiti 0–1 0–6 1996 OFC Nations Cup
3 11 June 1997 Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, Australia  Solomon Islands 8–0 13–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 17 June 1997 Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, Australia  Solomon Islands 4–0 6–2 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
5 5–0
6 11 February 1998 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia  South Korea 1–0 1–0 Friendly

References

  1. ^ "2009 Football Hall of Fame". MyFootball. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  2. ^ Kent, Paul (29 November 1997). "The modern, dinky-di face of Australian soccer". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Tapai, Ernie (7 March 2019). "Ernie Tapai on The Pioneers FNR" (Interview). The Pioneers. Interviewed by Donikian, George; Cotsanis, George. Football Nation Radio – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Schwab, Laurie (16 January 1985). "Gully loses Wade to Juventus". The Age. Retrieved 25 May 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era - A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2.
  6. ^ "2002 State League Division One Results". Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  7. ^ "Corio challenged to make the point". geelongadvertiser. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  8. ^ "FIFA Player Statistics: Ernest Tapai". FIFA.com. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Ernie Tapai". OzFootball. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  10. ^ Howe, Andrew (2018). "Australian National Team History" (PDF). Football Federation Australia. p. 94.
  11. ^ Ernie Tapai at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  12. ^ "Aussie Footballers - Ernie Tapai". OzFootball. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  13. ^ Tapai, Ernie at National-Football-Teams.com