Five minutes with: Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic

Life keeps getting better for Danny Vukovic. Australia selection, Sydney FC flying high and most importantly his son Harley getting back to full health after a successful liver transplant. The World Game sat down with "Vuka" to find out what the Sydney FC shot stopper is like off the pitch.

Danny Vukovic

Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic Source: Getty Images

TWG: Your son, Harley, has had a successful liver transplant and you've been named in the Socceroos squad as a result of your outstanding form for high-flying Sydney FC. Life must feel pretty good at the moment.

DV: Yeah, I feel great. Things are falling nicely into place back here in Sydney. It was always the plan to come home and get surrounded by family and friends and that support network and get back to playing my best football and that's how it's turning out. Still a long way to go this season, but it's looking good at the moment.


TWG: What's the difference in you as a person and player from last year to this year? You're obviously more settled.

DV: Yeah I am and I think that helps a lot. I can still have peace of mind when I'm away from my family, travelling with football, because I know they're not alone and they're being cared for. I've got my family around to help out when we need them, so I can really concentrate on my football when I'm at training and playing in games.

TWG: Have your son's struggles given you a lot of perspective?

DV: Yeah, 100 per cent. Football for a long period of my life was the number one priority and the be-all and end-all of everything, but after having a son and seeing what he has gone through and seeing what a lot of kids go through in children's hospitals it certainly does put life into perspective. A bad game or a bad training session I used to dwell on, but I don't anymore because there are so many more difficult things in life to handle than a bad game.

TWG: How has your wife, Kristy, coped? Is she a naturally strong person?

DV: She is, yeah. She has been amazing through all of this. You know, anything that has happened she has just tackled head-on and stayed positive and kept me positive. There were a lot of tough times, especially last year, and she did a lot to help me through that. She has been wonderful. She's an amazing woman and has done a great job.

TWG: Have you got plans for a bigger family?

DV: We do. We always said we would get Harley through his operation and make sure he was OK before we started thinking about others and we're finally getting to that stage where he's almost fully recovered, so we'll start thinking about that soon.

TWG: OK, if you could stop the A-League now for a few weeks and take your family on a holiday anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?

DV:  Wow, that's a tough question. So many places . . . Probably go back to the Greek Islands. We went there for our honeymoon and it's one of the most beautiful places in the world, so to take our son back there would be real nice.

TWG: If you could have front-row tickets at a concert by any musical act you wanted to see, who would it be?

DV: I'd probably go for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love the Peppers, but I still haven't seen them live yet, so that would have to be my number one choice.

TWG: Is there a TV show you simply have to watch every week?

DV: We've got Netflix at home and Foxtel Go and the show we're watching at the moment is Mr Robot. It's a pretty cool show, pretty dark, and my wife and I enjoy it.

TWG: Is there a movie you can't resist, that you've watched 10 or 12 times over the years?

DV: Yeah, there are quite a few. I love Will Ferrell, I think he's really funny, so all of his movies. Wedding Crashers, Step Brothers, Talledaga Nights and a few others. I think his style of humour is great. I think he's one of the funniest guys around and I really enjoy his movies.

TWG: What is Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold to you - father figure, big brother, mate, a combination of those things?

DV: I think a combination. He's a great coach and to be a great coach I think you need the whole package and he's got it. Tactically he's very good and his man management is wonderful. He gets the best out of all of his players, not just the starting XI but the boys who come on and change the game for us.

TWG: And you can go to him with a problem?

DV: Yeah and that's what makes him who he is, he cares about his players. It's not just about football, he asks about your family and you can see that he really cares.

TWG: Who are your closest friends in football?

DV: My best mate in football is Mark Bridge. He was my best man. We've been close ever since primary school, so, yeah, he'd be number one.

TWG: Finally, it might still be the best part of 10 years away, but when your playing days are over what do you see yourself doing?

DV: I'd like to stay in football. I'd love to be an A-League goalkeeper coach so that I'm still in that team environment. If I wasn't still in football I don't know what I'd be doing, to be honest. Stay-at-home dad maybe!

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4 min read
Published 9 March 2017 at 3:41pm
By Greg Prichard