Hard work paying off for Galekovic

Eugene Galekovic's highlights reel of show-stopping saves is all down to the Reds' stopper's hard work, according to Adelaide goalkeeping coach Peter Blazincic.

'It's a save not many people can do. It's what we call a miracle save.' That's how former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich described Adelaide United captain Eugene Galekovic's latest spectacular stop in the Reds' 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar last Sunday.

Barely clinging to their lead at Suncorp Stadium with Brisbane hogging possession and pouring forward in droves, Adelaide conceded a corner on 54 minutes.

A quick set-piece was taken and worked to Thomas Broich who delivered an in-swinging cross to the head of fellow Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu.

Unchallenged at the near post and inside the six-yard box, Paartalu struck a point-blank header that was set to equalise the game when Galekovic intervened with an impulse acrobatic, one-handed save to tip the ball over the bar and maintain the three points for United.

It wasn't the first time Galekovic had salvaged points for his side and it won't be the last.

But what makes the Reds custodian and four-time Socceroo a match-winner?

According to Galekovic's mentor and the club's goalkeeping coach Peter Blazincic who described the 31-year-old as the most consistent shot-stopper in the country, it's simply 'hard work'.

"He works very hard at training. Training's quite intense but Euge is always the same, he doesn't drop off at all. It's just a collection of long-term hard work," he said.

"It's difficult when you keep doing the same thing over and over again in training, but credit to him, he does the hard work and is willing to do it. He is a great person to be coaching.

"He is a competitor and he likes to win. He fights for the shirt and does what he does to be successful.

"Over a long period, I'd say he is the most consistent (goalkeeper in the league)."

Sunday's diving effort against Brisbane added to Galekovic's extensive catalogue of stunning saves that was only updated as recently as May during Adelaide's AFC Champions League campaign.

After pulling off an incredible one-handed save in the 1-0 win against Pohang Steelers in April, which drew comparisons to similar stops made by goalkeeping legends Gordon Banks and Peter Schmeichel, Galekovic was uncannily at it again a month later in the 1-0 round-of-16 victory over Nagoya Grampus.

The Reds gloveman flung to his left and right on two separate but identical occasions to dig the ball off his line with one outstretched glove.

The three match-winning saves received numerous plaudits while Galekovic's reflexes were touted as world class.

"It's one of Eugene's real good strengths to always be at the right place, right time as far as angles are concerned to make those reflex saves," Blazincic said.

"He positions and reads the game really well to make those saves."

Although he credited Galekovic for being naturally gifted at making the miraculous look routine, Blazincic said he tailored specific drills to work on enhancing the ex-Melbourne Victory man's reflexes.

The 43-year-old said match-replicated conditioning and sessions were the main component of a week of training for the back-to-back 2009 and 2010 Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year and Adelaide United Club Champion.

"We've done a lot of intense work close up, reducing time to react ... training is always focused on ball speed being greater than in a game," Blazincic said.

"Through his training program we condition to a particular style of match and he just deals with it over and over again each week so that in a game there's nothing unusual.

"We really focus on that added with some natural components and he does it really well under pressure which is a compliment to him ... his eye can identify ball movement early.

"All the hard work and labour intensive stuff is earlier on in the week which we just taper off towards matchday to obviously keep him sharp.

"There are also still a lot of ball work and movement drills during the week as well."

Blazincic, who has been the goalkeeping coach of Adelaide since 2006, hopes Galekovic won't have to come to the Reds' rescue too often this season with the club sitting at the top of the table, having won four of their five matches this season.

"The squad is a lot stronger this season and was probably not expected to be so dominate ... he won't have to keep rescuing the team each week," he said.

"For a change the season won't be pivotal around his form."