One of Western Australia's greatest ever homegrown talents, Zabica played twenty-seven times for Australia in a glittering senior career. He graduted from juniors to first team football with Spearwood Dalmatinac before playing almost every game for Cockburn United during three seasons at the Division Two club. Zabica spent the winter of 1987 with top flight outfit Stirling Macedonia, that years First Division champions, before embarking on a lengthy spell in the national league.
Zabica stepped up to the next level with Adelaide City, where acoss seven seasons he'd sample all the highs and lows the game has to offer. His Zebras debut, against Brunswick, heralded the start of a National Soccer League record 170 consecutive appearances that spanned February 1988 through to October 1993. Zabica collected a Cup winners medal in 1989, and at the end of 1991/92 was named Goalkeeper of the Year for the role he played in the Zebras winning the league and Cup double.
In February 1990 Zabica made his first appearance for Australia in a 'B' fixture with Russian club Moscow Torpedo. His senior international debut arrived in August when Zabica stood between the posts in a 3-0 Merlion Cup final victory over Indonesia, and a few weeks later he lined-up twice against South Korea in friendlies. 1991 opened with further Socceroos honours against Czechoslavakia and which was followed later in the year by appearances against New Zealand, England and South Korea, the latter in the final of the President's Cup in Seoul.
Now established as one of Australia's premier 'keeper's, Zabica played all three games of the friendly series with Sweden at the start of 1992. He was between the posts for friendlies against the United States of America and Argentina when the Socceroos toured Central and South America in mid-year, returning to Australia to line-up in a three game series with Croatia. Zabica's year ended with a trio of World Cup qualifiers against Oceania minnows the Soloman Islands and Tahiti.
As Australia's campaign to qualify for the United States gathered momentum Zabica found himself on the road for much of 1993. After attending the Socceroos February training camp in Europe, Zabica played twice against Kuwait only to find himself on the outer when Australia met New Zealand in the Oceania play-offs. He was recalled for July's play-offs with Canada but lasted only 17 minutes before being sent off in the first of the two-game series, but re-established his place in the pecking order with a couple of strong displays against South Korea.
Zabica was between the posts in November 1993 when an Alex Tobin own goal in Buenos Aires sent Argentina through to the next year's World Cup at Australia's expense. Upon returning to club football he played an integral part in Adelaide winning the 1993/4 NSL Grand Final against Melbourne Croatia. But Zabica's career came to a crashing halt just three weeks later when a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament suffered while playing Japan led to surgery and a lengthy recuperation.
Zabica was at his brilliant best for the winter of 1995, making his State team debut against West Ham United before picking up a Cup winners medal and Goalkeeper of the Year trophy as a Spearwood Dalmatinac player. In March 1997 he added some much-neeed experience to the Perth Glory backline, after which Zabica spent seven injury-interrupted months with Bradford City in England. He returned to Perth in 1998 to see out his playing days with Bayswater City, Inglewood United and Fremantle City, winning another three Goalkeeper of the Year awards along the way.
|02.02.1990||Torpedo (Melbourne)||3-0 (won)||'B' game||Sub off after 69 minutes for Phil Trianedes|
|03.06.1990||Hadjuk Split (Sydney)||1-0 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|06.06.1990||Hadjuk Split (Melbourne)||2-2 (draw)||'B' game||Full game|
|20.08.1990||Malaysia Under-23 (Jakarta)||3-0 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|23.08.1990||Thailand Under-23 (Jakarta)||2-0 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|25.08.1990||Indonesia (Jakarta)||3-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|06.09.1990||South Korea (Seoul)||0-1 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|09.09.1990||South Korea (Pusan)||0-1 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|30.01.1991||Czechoslavakia (Melbourne)||0-1 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|06.02.1991||Czechoslavakia (Sydney)||0-2 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|12.05.1991||New Zealand (Christchurch)||1-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|15.05.1991||New Zealand (Adelaide)||2-1 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|01.06.1991||England (Sydney)||0-1 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|08.06.1991||USSR B (Sowan)||2-1 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|12.06.1991||South Korea B (Pohang)||2-0 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|14.06.1991||South Korea (Seoul)||0-0 (draw)||Friendly||Full game|
|26.01.1992||Sweden (Sydney)||0-0 (draw)||Friendly||Full game|
|29.01.1992||Sweden (Adelaide)||1-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|02.02.1992||Sweden (Melbourne)||1-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|13.06.1992||United States of America (Orlando)||1-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|18.06.1992||Argentina (Buenoes Aires)||0-2 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|05.07.1992||Croatia (Melbourne)||1-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|08.07.1992||Croatia (Adelaide)||3-1 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|12.07.1992||Croatia (Melbourne)||0-0 (draw)||Friendly||Full game|
|04.09.1992||Soloman Islands (Honiara)||2-1 (won)||World Cup qualifier||Full game|
|11.09.1992||Tahiti (Papeete)||3-0 (won)||World Cup qualifier||Full game|
|20.09.1992||Tahiti (Brisbane)||2-0 (won)||World Cup qualifier||Full game|
|13.02.1993||Borussia Dortmund (Dortmund)||0-3 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|16.02.1993||Go Ahead Eagles (Deventer)||0-3 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|15.04.1993||Kuwait (Singapore)||1-0 (won)||Friendly||Full game|
|19.04.1993||Kuwait (Singapore)||1-3 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|17.06.1993||AC Milan (Melbourne)||0-2 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|16.07.1993||FC Duisberg (Bersenberg)||1-1 (draw)||'B' game||Full game|
|18.07.1993||DeGrafschaap (Zelham)||0-1 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|21.07.1993||NEC Nijmegen (Nijmengen)||1-0 (won)||'B' game||Full game|
|31.07.1993||Canada (Edmonton)||1-2 (loss)||World Cup qualifier||Red carded after 17 minutes|
|24.09.1993||South Korea (Seoul)||1-1 (draw)||Friendly||Full game|
|26.09.1993||South Korea (Seoul)||0-1 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|04.11.1993||Colo Colo (Santiago)||2-3 (loss)||'B' game||Full game|
|11.11.1993||Universidad Catolica Youth (Santiago)||0-1 (loss)||'B' game||Sub off after 46 minutes for Mark Schwarzer|
|17.11.1993||Argentina (Buenos Aires)||0-1 (loss)||World Cup qualifier||Full game|
|22.05.1994||Japan (Hiroshima)||1-1 (draw)||Friendly||Sub off after 36 minutes for Zeljko Kalac|
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This page was last updated on the 1st June 2010.