Ned Zelic
Personal information
Full name Nedjeljko Zelic
Date of birth (1971-07-04) 4 July 1971 (age 50)
Place of birth Sydney, Australia
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Position(s) Centre-back, defensive midfielder
Youth career
1981–1987 Canberra FC
1988 AIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1991 Sydney Croatia 36 (0)
1991–1992 Sydney Olympic 16 (1)
1992–1995 Borussia Dortmund 72 (1)
1995–1996 Queens Park Rangers 4 (0)
1996 Eintracht Frankfurt 20 (4)
1996–1997 Auxerre 18 (4)
1997–2001 1860 Munich 102 (3)
2002 Kyoto Purple Sanga 1 (0)
2002–2003 Urawa Reds 23 (2)
2004–2005 Wacker Tirol 22 (0)
2005–2006 Newcastle Jets 21 (1)
2006 Helmond Sport 7 (0)
2007–2008 Dinamo Tbilisi 34 (0)
Total 372 (16)
National team
1989 Australia U-20 8 (2)
1990–1992 Australia U-23 16 (4)
1991–1997 Australia 34 (3)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Nedjeljko Zelic (Croatian pronunciation: [zeːlitɕ], born 4 July 1971), commonly known as Ned Zelic, is an Australian former footballer who played as a centre-back or defensive midfielder.

Club career

Zelic started his career in the old Australian National Soccer League, where he played with clubs Sydney Croatia and Sydney Olympic. In his junior years he played for Croatia Deakin.

Zelic spent most of the 1990s playing in Europe, most notably for Borussia Dortmund where he reached the UEFA Cup Final in his first season with the club, losing to Juventus Turin of Italy and won the German Bundesliga title in 1995. He had a brief stint in the Premier League for QPR, moving for a club record £1.25 million,[1] which was beset by injury and discontent. After just 4 Premier League games for the West London club, he departed to Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany.[2]

After only a few months he signed for AJ Auxerre of France. At Auxerre, he replaced Laurent Blanc who moved to FC Barcelona, and participated in the UEFA Champions League. In July 1996, Zelic was selected to play for a World All Star team vs. Brazil at Giants Stadium, New York City. The All Star team was coached by Euro 92 winner with Denmark, Richard Moller Nielsen and consisted of such players as Jürgen Klinsmann, George Weah, Marcel Desailly, Lothar Matthäus, David Ginola and Fernando Redondo. In 1998, Zelic decided to move back to Germany and went on to make 102 appearances for 1860 Munich in the Bundesliga.

In 2002, he moved to Japan to play in the J1 League where he stayed for two years and played under Dutch coaches Hans Ooft and Wim Jansen, winning the Japanese Cup with his club Urawa Red Diamonds. Zelic signed for FC Wacker Tirol of Austria in July 2004 and stayed there for one season.

A-League

In 2005, Ned Zelic agreed terms to a two-year deal as a marquee to captain the Newcastle Jets in the A-League,[3] where he played out the whole season from central defence. The Jets finished fourth on the league table and lost to the Central Coast Mariners 2–1 on aggregate over two legs in the Minor Semi-final.

Zelic underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee after the semi-finals. Several months later he decided to move back overseas and it was not certain if he would continue his career.[4]

Europe

After being granted a work permit, he signed a one-year deal with Dutch side Helmond Sport in August 2006, working again with his former 1860 Munich teammate Gerald Vanenburg, who was coach there. However, he left Helmond after only two months due to knee problems and considered retirement.

In January 2007, Zelic joined Georgian club FC Dinamo Tbilisi on a free transfer, where he played under former Czech National Team coach Dusan Uhrin. He announced his retirement from football in May 2008, after winning the Georgian Championship with Dinamo Tbilisi.[5]

He was selected in Four Four Two magazine's Top 25 Australian Footballers of All-Time.

International career

He has played for the Australia youth, Olympic and senior teams, but made himself unavailable in November 1999 after disagreements with coach Frank Farina. Zelic was captain of the Australian team that competed and finished 4th at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Personal life

Ned Zelic attended Wanniassa High School in Canberra, ACT. Zelic is the older brother of former footballer turned actor Ivan Zelic and presenter Lucy Zelic.[6]

Career statistics

Club

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition[7]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sydney Croatia 1989 National Soccer League 8 0 8 0
1989–90 2 0 2 0
1990–91 26 0 26 0
Total 36 0 36 0
Sydney Olympic 1991–92 National Soccer League 16 1 16 1
Borussia Dortmund 1992–93 Bundesliga 19 0 19 0
1993–94 18 1 18 1
1994–95 4 0 4 0
Total 41 1 41 1
Queens Park Rangers 1995–96 Premier League 4 0 4 0
Eintracht Frankfurt 1995–96 Bundesliga 17 1 17 1
Auxerre 1996–97 Division 1 12 0 12 0
1860 Munich 1997–98 Bundesliga 13 0 13 0
1998–99 33 1 33 1
1999–2000 23 2 23 2
2000–01 27 0 27 0
2001–02 6 0 6 0
Total 102 3 102 3
Kyoto Purple Sanga 2002 J1 League 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Urawa Reds 2002 J1 League 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
2003 22 2 1 0 7 0 30 2
Total 23 2 2 0 7 0 32 2
Wacker Tirol 2004–05 Austrian Bundesliga 22 0 22 0
Newcastle United Jets 2005–06 A-League 21 1 21 1
Helmond Sport 2006–07 Eerste Divisie 7 0 7 0
Dinamo Tbilisi 2006–07 Umaglesi Liga 11 0 11 0
Career total 313 9 2 0 7 0 322 9

International

Appearances and goals by national team and year[7]
National team Year Apps Goals
Australia 1991 3 0
1992 5 0
1993 5 1
1994 2 0
1995 3 0
1996 0 0
1997 14 2
Total 32 3

Honours

Australia

Dinamo Tbilisi

Urawa Reds

Borussia Dortmund

References

  1. ^ "QPR break club record for Zelic". The Independent. 27 July 1995. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Shearer's strain 'not a problem'". Independent. 28 March 1996. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Ned Zelic signs with Newcastle Jets". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 April 2005.
  4. ^ Roach, Stewart (7 June 2006). "Easy come, easy go: Okon signs for Jets as captain Zelic quits". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ Aussie great Zelic announces retirement
  6. ^ "There is room for us all in this beautiful game : Lucy Zelic : The World Game on SBS". theworldgame.sbs.com.au. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013.
  7. ^ a b Ned Zelic at National-Football-Teams.com