From scoring a hat trick as a 6 year old in North Perth Croatia Juniors to captaining the senior team to last year’s Night Series victory, alongside winning every trophy available to the club in between, Ivan Zuvela has been as important to the Western Knights family as the club has been to him. For almost 30 years as a player, Ivan has worn the famous red, white and blue with honour and pride, finally announcing his retirement as a player at the end of 2015.
Before the club begins its march to the 2016 Premiership, the club is holding a testimonial match featuring some of the best players Ivan has played with at the Knights during his many years. Ivan will take to the field one last time in an exhibition match between two Knights legends teams, one coached by Ronnie Campbell and Willie Kelly, the other by Robbie Dunn and Andy Thorburn. Players taking part will be a who’s who of Knights and WA Soccer legends, so it will be a great day for spectators and a fitting send off.
The testimonial match will be held at Nash Field on Saturday 12 March, kicking off at 3pm, followed by celebratory drinks and dinner in the Knights clubrooms.
We hope to see you there for what promises to be a great day and Knight!
A look back on some of Ivan’s highlights as a Knights player:
- Ivan started playing under 8s as a 6 year old in the first ever North Perth Croatia Junior team, scoring a hat trick in his first game
- He worked his way through the Juniors, Under 18’s and Reserves, before making his debut in the first team as a 17 year old in 2000
- In 2000 and 2001 he captained the WA State Under 19s Team on two tours of France at the prestigious Tourni de Croix
- He represented the WA State team at Senior Level
- In 2004 he was a vital member of the League and Top 5 Western Knights winning team
- In 2005 he was recruited by the Melbourne Knights and completed a 1 year stint with the famous club, playing 20 senior games in that season
- Won the Boral Cup with the Western Knights in 2008
- A first team regular in the back to back 2009 and 2010 League Winning team
- Until he retired in 2015 he was a regular first team player and showed his continued leadership qualities as the team Captain
- He remains an important role model to all his former team mates, as well as players at the club, both young and not so young