Petkovic is one of Western Australia's most celebrated goalkeepers with over 400 appearances for club and country to his name. A professional footballer in Australia and Turkey, he won two league titles, two cups and was crowned Goalkeeper of the Year on three occasions. On the international front he travelled as part of the Australian squad to the 1996 Olympic Games and gained six 'A' caps with the Socceroos.
Petkovic played his junior days at Spearwood Dalmatinac and made his first team debut at the age of 17, replacing older brother Jason when he joined National Soccer League side Adelaide City. Back-up goalkeeper for Perth Kangaroos in 1994, he starred when Spearwood defeated Inglewood Falcons to win the 1995 Cup and soon after gained his first State team call-up.
At seasons' end Petkovic transferred to South Melbourne, making his first team debut in a January 1996 domestic Cup win over Melbourne Knights. A few weeks later he helped South Melbourne win that competition, defeating Newcastle Breakers in the final, and soon after stepped out as a NSL player for the first time in a 2-1 win against UTS Olympic.
Although selected in the Australian squad for the 1996 Olympic Games, Petkovic watched from the bench as the national under-23 team made an early exit from the tournament. South Melbourne topped the NSL table in 1997/98 thanks in part to the heroics of Petkovic, who was between the posts on Grand Final day against Carlton in May 1998.
1998/99 was a real coming of age for Petkovic, who was presented the NSL Goalkeeper of the Year trophy before playing an important role in his club's Grand Final win over Sydney United of May 1999. A couple of months later he gained his first appearance for Australia in a 'B' fixture with touring English club Manchester United.
Unfortunately, the season that followed was nothing short of a disaster, Petkovic prevented playing for French club Strasbourg due to difficulties obtaining an international clearance. A brief State League spell with Cockburn City preceded an August 2000 return to South Melbourne. Strong club performances were rewarded with Socceroos outings in the opening months of 2001 against Colombia, American Samoa and Samoa.
Petkovic won another Goalkeeper of the Year award as South Melbourne finished top of the 2000/01 NSL table before seeing off Wollongong Wolves in the Grand Final. But a three-month off-season loan to Lillestrom failed to elict a full-time contract from the Norwegian club. Petkovic's emergence as the best shot-stopper in Australia was confirmed when he landed a third Goalkeeper of the Year at the end of 2001/02.
In mid-2002 Petkovic transferred to Trabzonspor where he'd carved out a reputation as one of Turkey's best goalkeepers. Across three seasons he was rarely out of the side, making over one hundred appearances as Trabzonspor won back-to-back Turkish Cups (2003 and 2004) and twice finished Super League runners-up (2003/04 and 2004/05). This led in turn led to another Socceroos call-up, this time for the April 2005 Confederations Cup where Petkovic played against Tunisia.
Three months later he was on the move again with Petkovic signing a two-year contract at Turkish Super League newcomer Sivasspor. Quick to establish himself as the club's first choice goalkeeper, Petkovic played close to 150 League and Cup games as Sivasspor enjoyed the most successful period in their history. In February 2007 he lined up for Australia against Denmark, and in July of the same year was part of the squad that made the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup.
Petkovic achieved the rare honour of a goalkeeper scoring when, in March 2008, a booming clearance from inside his own penalty box bounced over the Ankaragucu custodian and into the net. His sixth and final 'A' outing for Socceroos arrived in June 2008 when he kept goal against China. Petkovic was deposed as Sivasspor's number one during 2009/10, making just fifteen appearances that season before being released in May 2010.
The final move in Petkovic's career was to Melbourne Victory, where he was first choice 'keeper throughout the 2010/11 A-League season. The recruitment of Australian youth international Tando Velaphi signalled the end of the line for Petkovic who formally retired from professional football in May 2011.
|15.07.1999||Manchester United (Melbourne)||0-2 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|28.02.2001||Colombia (Bogata)||2-3 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|11.04.2001||American Samoa (Coffs Harbour)||31-0 (won)||World Cup qualifier||Full game|
|16.04.2001||Samoa (Coffs Harbour)||11-0 (won)||World Cup qualifier||Full game|
|16.04.2005||Tunisia (Leipzig)||0-2 (loss)||Confederations Cup||Full game|
|07.02.2007||Denmark (London)||1-3 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|22.06.2008||China (Sydney)||0-1 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
Back to www.footballwa.net
This page was last updated on the 1st June, 2011