Bundy can land the next football champ
FOOTBALL: Former Socceroos goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac says Bundaberg players can make it to the top if they have the desire to do so.
The UEFA Champions League winner was in the Rum City on Monday and Tuesday running clinics for children from the Goalkeeping Australia Academy.
The Goalkeeping Australia Academy focuses on improving goalkeepers in the region in the hope of one day making it to the top.
Former The Waves player and Socceroo Mitch Langerak was part of the program.
"I've really enjoyed the trip,” Kalac revealed to the NewsMail.
"Last night's (Monday) session was excellent, we had three groups.
"The kids loved it and that's the main thing, they enjoy the hard work.”
After retiring from the game a few years ago with more than 350 appearances for clubs and 54 for the Socceroos, Kalac took up coaching at A-League clubs Sydney FC and Western Sydney.
He said giving back to the game and coaching children as well was one way to give back to the game that gives him so much.
"I got into it because I wanted to guide the kids in the right direction,” he said.
"We (Mark Bosnich and I) had a fantastic goalkeeper coach when we were young.
"It put us in a good stead heading forward.”
But Kalac had concerns for the current generation coming through.
He said the hunger to compete was lost in some children and that was concerning as they try to make their way through the sport.
"I think that is something lacking in the generation,” Kalac said.
"I always say it comes down to hard work (to make it).
"That's one important factor, the desire to do that.”
Kalac said that wasn't the case with the children in Bundaberg and praised them for making the long trek to The Waves Sports Ground.
He added the clinics hopefully taught them about coordination and technique, which he believed were the two important areas for goalkeeping success.
Goalkeeping Australia Academy Wide Bay coach director Cale Driver said having someone with Kalac's ability was great for the students.
"It's just priceless with the opportunity he is providing us with his coaching,” he said.
"It's a very rare thing for us to have him here.”
Kalac will head to Brisbane and Gold Coast to hold more clinics later this week.
The Goalkeeping Australia Academy will continue to train throughout the season with its talent playing for clubs in Wide Bay and the Wide Bay Buccaneers.