June 24, 2021

The Football Coaching Life: Zeljko Kalac

Zeljko Kalac, perhaps better known as ‘Spider’ in Australian Football circles, played over 400 games for club and country, with 54 caps for the Socceroos over fourteen years.

Spider’s amazing career saw him play as a youngster with Sydney United before heading overseas to play in Holland with Roda and in Italy with AC Milan, winning a European Champions League.

Zeljko’s coaching journey commenced at Sydney FC as Goalkeeping Coach with Vitezslav Lavicka, then Frank Farina and Graham Arnold, before moving to West Sydney Wanderers to work alongside his good friend Tony Popovic.

Spider is our first goalkeeping coach on the podcast and discusses his journey and how it is to work as an assistant with some of Australia’s best coaches. He also speaks honestly about the goalkeeping coaches that helped him on his journey as a player and now as coaching mentors.

He also speaks to Gary Cole about his short stint as Head Coach of Sydney United 58, who went on to win an NPL Championship, as well as the culture of this great club that has helped to develop so many Socceroos and coaches.

Spider’s ‘One piece of wisdom’ for coaches: “Be open minded and willing to adapt because football is played in all sorts of ways. There is not a right or a wrong way to play.”

This is our first PG rated podcast as Spider is ruthlessly frank. As a wise man once said, ‘If you don’t want to hear the answer, don’t ask the question!’

Please enjoy this candid discussion about Zeljko Kalac’s Football Coaching Life.

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