Goalkeeper to make Cougars debut
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
YOU wouldn't know the biggest match of his promising career was awaiting teenage Gladstone goalkeeper Marco Radovanovic at Rockhampton's Ryan Park tonight.
'I'm not nervous, I just can't wait to go,' the 16-year-old said yesterday.
Radovanovic will make his Capricorn Cougars debut in tonight's must-win final round Football Queensland State Cup clash with the Whitsunday Coast.
The Clinton goalkeeper gets his chance to impress following injuries to Rockhampton's Ben Blacker and fellow Gladstone shot-stopper Roger Bailey.
Tonight's scenario could not be any bigger for Radovanovic, a Central Queensland junior representative this season.
The winners can book themselves a place in next week's State Cup semi-finals while the losers can kiss goodbye another missed opportunity.
Radovanovic said he would not be intimidated tonight by a Whitsunday Coast outfit, which includes Mackay dangerman Troy Mundy.
'I love soccer and definitely love goalkeeping and I'll go out there and give all of my 100 per cent,' Radovanovic said.
Cougars coach Justin Kilshaw said Radovanovic had not missed a beat since joining the side at the start of this year's State Cup competition.
'He's got all the talent in the world,' Kilshaw said.
'They'll try and target him, but Marco will certainly be up for the challenge.'
Kilshaw and Cougars assistant coach Brad Smith will finalise the starting side today.
Radovanovic said selection came as a welcome reward.
'I've been training (with the side) since day one,' he said.
'I've been on the waiting list and trying my hardest at training.
'It's a big step for me from the Cougars under-19 side ... it will be a good challenge for me.''
At the age of 16, Radovanovic already has 11 years football experience behind him ? the past five of them spent in goal.
Radovanovic put his hand up for the goalkeeping role when the Wolves junior team he played for was letting in a flood of opposition goals week-in week-out.
'We were letting in too many goals so I said 'guys, let me do it',' Radovanovic said.
'Sometimes you just have to go out and do it. I've loved it ever since, it's great fun.'