Last night, at the 50th Anniversary Gala of North Geelong Warriors Football Club, five illustrious clubmen were inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame: Josip Skoko, Adrian Cervinski, Joey Didulica, Ante Deak and Mijo Trupković.
Josip Skoko was born in Mount Gambier on the 10th of December 1975. Josip, a central midfielder, began his junior career at Mt Gambier Croatia, playing there until he was 9 years old. The Skoko family then moved to Geelong and Josip began playing for North Geelong Croatia.
Josip made his senior debut at the club in 1994, a season where he won the Under 21 and VPL player of the year award. Not only a natural leader, but a classy playmaker, he made a big impact in Victorian Football at the young age of 19. He spent two seasons at senior level before moving to Split, playing for Hajduk. Josip made his mark in European football, spending time at Genclebirilgi, Wigan Athletic, Stoke City and Genk. A team which he captained his side to winning the league title in 2001-02. Josip ended his football playing career in Melbourne, where he spent a season at Melbourne Heart.
Josip has worn the green and gold and represented the Australian national team 51 times, scoring 9 goals.
Since retiring Josip has taken on numerous roles at the club, having just as much of an influence off the pitch as he did on it. He has coached various junior teams, assistant managed the senior team with his brother Ante and is currently in the football operations team.
Adrian Cervinski was born in Geelong on the 17th of November 1973. A deadly finisher, with a knack of scoring goals from anywhere, Adrian played for North Geelong Croatia, Melbourne Knights, Wollongong Wolves, Carlton SC, Sydney Olympic, Northern Spirit, Green Gully and returned to North Geelong in 2005 retiring in 2011.
In total, Adrian has 140 NSL caps, scoring 55 times. Adrian was also an NSL winner with the Melbourne Knights. Adrian was called up to play for Australia at youth level.
Adrian’s career at North Geelong saw him win the league championship 4 times, in 1991, 1992, 2005 and 2009.
Adrian finished his career at North Geelong at the turn of the decade and is still a familiar face on the terraces of Elcho Park, these days coaching the Under 15 Elcho Park Cardinals
Joey Didulica was born in Geelong on the 14th of October 1977. A tall and agile shot stopper, Joey is the most successful goalkeeper to come out of the club.
Joey played for North Geelong Croatia from 1995 – 1997. He then moved to the Melbourne Knights before making a career in Europe. Joey spent time at Ajax Amsterdam, Germinal Beerschot, Austria Wien and AZ Alkmaar. During this period, Joey won 2 Dutch Championships, 1 Austrian championship, the Austrian cup and the Dutch cup.
Joey is also capped four times for the Croatian National team, being involved in the 2004 European Cup squad and 2006 World Cup squad. Due to injury, Joey was forced to hang up the gloves in 2011. Joeys passion for the game is still present as he has coached various junior teams at the club.
Ante Deak was born in Geelong on the 8th of July 1978. A sharp and pacey midfielder, he made his senior debut at Elcho Park in 1995. Ante also featured in the North Geelong NSL youth league side. In 1996, Ante won the clubs Best and Fairest award at the young age of 17. Ante was also an Australian school boy international.
In 1997, Ante moved on to the Melbourne Knights, which saw him kick start his NSL career, winning 74 NSL caps and scoring 2 goals. Ante’s career saw him move to Fawkner blues, Sydney United, Eastern Pride and St Albans Saints.
Ante returned to Elcho Park in 2006. Ante finished his career in 2010 at Elcho Park
Mijo Trupkovic was born on the 21st of June 1977. He was a long serving captain of the club. An outstanding leader and playmaker with unbelievable vision. Mijo made his senior debut for North Geelong in 1994.
Mijo then moved onto the AIS where he spent some time before joining the Melbourne Knights, making 43 NSL appearances and scoring 2 goals. He also had stints at St Albans Dinamo and Green Gully SC where he won a a VPL title, before returning to North Geelong in 2005 where he helped the club win two championships in 2005 and 2009. Mijo retired from football in 2012.