Zeljko Kalac has decided to come out of retirement for one night only and will take the field in Tasmania's burgeoning Victory League at the weekend.
Tasmania-s Victory League is all set to welcome a former Socceroo for a guest appearance as their big marketing push for the week of action.
Casting a large shadow for the Tilford Zebras will be former AC Milan and Australia goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac, who is coming out of retirement for their match against Devonport.
Football Tasmania CEO John Boulos was excited to bring the Sydney FC goalkeeping coach to the Apple Isle and is looking forward to what he will bring.
“This week we have Zeljko Kalac coming down to play a one-off game for the Tilford Zebras and he is in goals this Saturday for a double-header. We have had lots of good media and feedback around it, Boulos said.
“We have seen the success of guest players in the A-League and are hoping to replicate that.
“The club suggested the idea and we have been supportive, the club contacted Zeljko when he was here for an advanced license goalkeeping course.
“We have him up in a campaign against the leading goalscorer who is quite short as well, the players look forward to the chance and it will increase the exposure of the league.”
Kalac himself is confident he still has what it takes and is looking forward to his return to the field in Tasmania.
"The Zebras approached me about a stint in goal for them while I was in town for a goalkeeping course last week and I am just happy we were able to work it all out,” Kalac told Tasmania-s Mercury newspaper.
"Hopefully we can get a win and entertain a big crowd at the same time."
While a big crowd at the weekend is the goal, seven rounds in and Boulos is happy with the way the Victory league is going, admitting while it has been tough at times to set up the competition, the increased media exposure the game has seen in Tasmania is more than encouraging.
“The exposure of the league has been strong, the media support has been excellent and the players have been producing good quality football,” Boulos said.
“Real successes are around the exposure we are getting. Weekly we have 2-3 slots a week on the news and are getting a lot of summaries across the news, and our online coverage is going crazy with highlights packages, Game of the Week and Team of the Week.
“Crowds are up too, we have been averaging around 500 people to each game and while we-re aware it will take a while for people to invest and the teams to get rivalries going we have to make sure we schedule the games correctly as well to make sure those rivalries happen.”
Making rivalries happen is of course a long-term process and surely north versus south is one Boulos would want to build , but that appears a long way away given the thumping South Hobart gave Launceston in round seven. 11-0 the result, but Boulos was not concerned.
“Launceston are struggling at the moment but South Hobart were on and their players suggested it was the best game they played all year.
There will always be teams that struggle but in two-three years time we see Launceston developing into a good club.”