ADELAIDE has turned to long-time Melbourne reserve goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic after its No.1 custodian Daniel Beltrame learned yesterday he would be sidelined for eight weeks with a serious thigh injury.
Scans have revealed Beltrame tore a quadriceps muscle from the bone while attempting a simple drop kick in Adelaide’s 4-1 win over Wellington last Sunday.
Beltrame, who has a gap of between 2cm and 3cm between the muscle and the bone, considered surgery to rectify the injury but was told that would prolong his recovery.
“I’m gutted, it’s really upsetting,” Beltrame said yesterday.
“There is not much you can do, you just have to get over it.
“There was an option of surgery but it is in an awkward position and it would prolong the recovery, so we are just going to let it heal.”
Galekovic and Michael Theoklitos shared the Victory goalkeeping duties in the opening season of the A-League.
But Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick has given the nod to Theoklitos for the last year and a half.
“I rate Eugene very highly both as a player and a person,” Merrick said yesterday after the Victory announced that Galekovic was joining the Reds.
“His personal standards have been exceptional and he’s been a great person to have around the club.
“It’s certainly been a very close competition between he and Michael Theoklitos for a starting berth, and I wish him well for his future career.
“It’s a good situation for Eugene in that he now has the opportunity to potentially play first team football in the A-League with Adelaide, and it also frees up a spot on our roster to sign another outfield player inside the salary cap.”
The transfer window opens tomorrow, meaning Galekovic will be available for A-League pacesetter Adelaide’s next match against Queensland Roar.
Mitchell Langerak now becomes Victory’s second-choice keeper.