It was sad to hear yesterday that Perth Glory are to lose another of their back room staff, with Ante Kovacevic resigning his position as Manager Football Operations after being head hunted to take up a similar role at Adelaide United.
It is not surprising that Kovacevic should opt to leave Perth Glory. Despite never being implicated in any way in the salary cap scandal, to those who do not know the man his career could have suffered from being guilty simply by association; the same could be said of staff within the finance area of the club as well. Hopefully though their careers will progress unabated, and not be harmed by the actions of others.
Kovacevic is no stranger to Adelaide having moved there from Melbourne in 2000 and been a part of Adelaide City’s NSL side up until the National Soccer League shut down and the A-League was created.
He then was lured to Perth from Malaysia to become a member of the Perth Glory’s inaugural A-League squad in 2005. There were many who felt at the time that he would have been the ideal player to Captain the side, that honour going instead to local player Jamie Harnwell. Taking nothing away from Harnwell, one does have to wonder if things may have been different had he been given the armband. Would the club have benefited from having someone with no ties to the old NSL club leading it into the new A-League era? Like Harnwell he had won two NSL Championships, both with the Melbourne Knights, and like Harnwell he wore his heart on his sleeve and hated losing.
Kovacevic will leave Perth having left his mark. After he retired from professional football he continued to play and coach in the State League with Floreat Athena. Here ably assisted by Taki Nicolaides he steered the club to the 2010 Cup final and victory in the 2011 Night Series.
Ante has never pushed himself to the fore but has always quietly gone about his business in a professional manner. One cannot help feeling that Glory’s loss is Adelaide’s gain, and we wish him all the best in his new position.