Ex-Richmond star on his love of football, Liverpool and the Hyundai A-League

 Ivan Maric is an AFL great after a 13-year career as a star ruckman, one which ended with his retirement from the Richmond Tigers in 2017. But he is also a massive football fan.

In recent years, Maric has been President of Victorian PS4 NPL club St Albans Saints, taking on the role from 2015 till last year. 

Maric's father was a member of the inaugural St Albans senior team in 1975, so there was always a strong connection with a club enjoyed a good run in the 2014 FFA Cup. 

But as Maric explains, he’s passionate about football in general.

And now that he’s retired from the AFL after 157 games with first the Adelaide Crows then Richmond, he is looking forward to watching – and perhaps playing – a little more football.

Ivan Maric talks football, in his own words...

I’m thinking about playing football now that I’ve retired, but after 13 years of AFL football my body’s pretty sore.

So, I’m going to try! Perhaps at an amateur level, but let’s see how the body holds up.

As for a position, I’d like to play maybe a centre back or defensive midfielder.

I grew up in soccer clubs with my family and when I watch soccer now, I find it very relaxing and it’s my time to myself. It makes me happy. And relaxed, whether it’s on TV or live just at a park, I really enjoy it.

I try to go see St Albans play most weeks. I’m also a big Liverpool fan.

My favourite player has always been Steven Gerrard, so yes I was there holding my Reds scarf up when they played Melbourne Victory at the MCG in 2013. 

Gerrard scored a goal on that night, so I got to see that and I wish I’d seen Gerrard play at Anfield, but at least I got to see him play once. It was an unbelievable night.

Ivan Maric
Maric (right) with Juventus' Brazilian player Hernanes during the Italian club's trip to Melbourne in 2016

And with my background, I love following all the Croatian guys, like Modric, Raketic and Perisic, but I also love Barcelona's Luis Suarez, he’s one of my favourites.

I guess to play for Liverpool would’ve been a dream. I like AC Milan too. It would’ve been pretty cool to have played soccer on the world stage.

I’ve also been watching A-League games ever since the league started, particularly those who played at St Albans.

Guys like Tom Pondeljak who played at Victory and Central Coast, and Ivan Franjic who was at Roar and City and now is back at Roar.

But I follow Melbourne City, that’s my team.

As for those at grassroots level this year, what I say is play the game you love and do it with as much passion as you can. That way you enjoy it.

Ivan Franjic
Brisbane Roar's Ivan Franjic