Players from five decades of soccer make up the 33 names vying for selection in the Melbourne Knights’ team of the century.
While players such as Mark Viduka, Danny Tiatto, Josip Simunic, Steve Horvat and Andrew Marth might be considered certainties for spots, competition for other places will be intense.
It is a measure of the impact the migrant Croatian community and the oft-maligned club from Melbourne’s western suburbs has had on the game’s development in this country that many of the names among this group have represented Australia.
The final team will be announced at a gala dinner to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary on June 21. Knights director John Ovcaric yesterday said Tiatto and Simunic had confirmed they would be there, while “Viduka’s confirmation is expected within the next few days”.
Ovcaric also said the club hoped to complete its search for a coach by the end of the week. Former boss Vlado Vanis, a former championship-winning defender with the club, is favoured to get the job.
Meanwhile, Leeds United – whose two star Australians, Harry Kewell and Viduka, are the centre of so much transfer speculation – has offered a new one-year contract to 19-year-old Young Socceroo centre-half Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.
But, former Parramatta Power midfielder Jacob Burns has not had his contract renewed.
In Holland, goalkeeper Peter Zois has signed for Dutch first division side Willem II for next season when his contract expires with NAC Breda in June. He goes on a Bosman (free) transfer.
Soccer Australia yesterday confirmed that the Court of Arbitration for Sport had found Anissa Tann guilty of committing a doping offence under Soccer Australia’s anti-doping policy. Tann has been suspended for two years, effective from the date of the random drug test on December 9, 2002.
She will appeal against the decision and another hearing will be scheduled.
The Knights team of the century nominations: Keith Adams, Bozo Basic, Mirko Bazic (coach), Ante Bilaver, Joe Biskic, Peter Blasby, David Cervinski, Adrian Cervinski, Tommy Cumming, Fausto De Amicis, John Gardiner, Steve Gojevic, Ivan Gruicic, George Hannah, Steve Horvat, Ivan Kelic, Michael Kis (coach), Steve Kokoska , Mirko Kovacek, Ante Kuzelek, Andrew Marth, Billy McArthur, Bill McIntyre, Jimmy McKay, Hammy McMeechan, David Miller, Branko Milosevic, Ken Murphy, Tom Pondeljak, Horst Rau, Joe Simunic, Mark Talajic, Danny Tiatto, Mark Viduka, Billy Vojtek.