Welcome everybody to episode 37 of the Football United vs Soccer City podcast. As always I would like to sincerely thank all the interviewees, listeners and the soccer public of the Illawarra/Australia who download this podcast. Additionally I would like to say thank you to the people who contribute, comment and reminisce on the social media pages.
This episode's interviewee grew up in Balgownie and started his football journey at Balgownie Junior SC. From here John Krajnovic developed a deep love for the game and for the goalkeeper position. After a junior career with Balgownie and representing Illawarra junior teams, John moved to Fairy Meadow United in the State League. At Fairy Meadow John proved himself amongst men, forged relationships and developed his craft.
After playing at Corrimal Rangers in 1987 and Wollongong Macedonia in 1988, John received a call from Sydney Croatia and it was here that John deservedly found himself playing in the NSL amongst Socceroos and quality NSL players. He took his opportunity and played 18 league games and multiple pre-season games in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
In the 1990s he cemented himself as one of the premier goalkeepers in the Illawarra Premier League in particular with the Cringila Lions and in the latter part of his playing career he additionally started goalkeeper coaching.
Since retiring at the end of the 2000 season, John has developed as one of the best goalkeeping coaches in the region being a part of multiple clubs and entities such as Fernhill, the ISA, the Wollongong Wolves and of course coaching his children, something that was a delight for John.
The clear point for me in this interview is that John deeply cares and invests in the people/players who he trains and mixes with in the region. And it is this part of his personality which distinguishes him and is one of the reasons why he is successful and deeply respected in our community. As our interview spanned over 2 hours, I have split this podcast into two parts and although it might not be optimal for you the listener, I apologise but I couldn't stop chatting to John about his amazing journey as a player and as a coach. Please enjoy part 1 of this interview.