Cooma captain to plays 200th game

A grand final win would be enough for Goran Josifovski to call it a day. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

A grand final win would be enough for Goran Josifovski to call it a day. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

A grand final victory would convince Cooma Tigers veteran Goran Josifovski to call time on his distinguished Capital Football National Premier League career.

The 34-year-old is one of the journeymen of the competition. Saturday's qualifying final against Belconnen United at McKellar Park will be his 200th game.

Josifovski has had stints at no less than six clubs, but none have been more successful than his foray at the Tigers. This season he led the club to its first league championship.

Part of the side's resurgence is down to Josifovski's transformation, in the twilight of his career, from a creative midfielder providing opportunities for others, to a striker who has scored 13 goals this season to finish equal third in the Golden Boot behind teammates Stephen Domenici (16 goals) and Robbie Cattanach (13).

Individual accomplishments are inconsequential as Josifovski aims to go out on a high with a second grand final victory in the space of three years, after 2012's triumph.

"My wife's telling me I should retire, but I don't want to," Josifovski said.

"Depending on how we finish this season, it might well be the final one I play in the Premier League.

"If all goes well, the way I'm hoping it will, most certainly."

Josifovski's journey in the Capital Football NPL started with the now-defunct Capital City Suns.

That was followed by a move to White Eagles, then Queanbeyan Lions, Canberra Olympic, Cooma, Canberra FC and then back to Cooma, when it was re-admitted to the top flight five years ago.

He made the switch to the Tigers to reunite with coach Gaby Wilk.

Wilk suggested to Josifovski to adapt his game and move further up the pitch.

"After speaking with Gaby I realised I'm much slower than I used to be and I can't get around players like I used to," Josifovski said.

"I predominantly have been a creative midfielder for much of my playing career, and for the last year or so, I've played more up top as a striker and pinched some goals.

"I enjoy creating and getting space for fellow players, but the reality is as you get older you've got to smarten up a bit."

The Tigers are coming off an 8-0 demolition of wooden spooners Canberra City last weekend having clinched the league championship the week before with a 3-0 win over Belconnen at Nijong Oval.

"The 3-0 scoreline can happen in any given game, but it's not a reflection on Belconnen United as a team," Josifovski said.

"We are the best team in the competition.

"It's not arrogant, it's a fact, but the reality is if you don't turn up and you're not focused, anything can happen."

The winner of the Cooma v Belconnen game will progress to the grand final, while the loser will face either Canberra Olympic or Canberra FC, who square off in Sunday's elimination final at Deakin Stadium.

CAPITAL FOOTBALL NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE FINALS: Qualifying final: Cooma Tigers v Belconnen United on Saturday at McKellar Park, 3pm. Elimination final: Canberra Olympic v Canberra FC on Sunday at Deakin Stadium, 3pm. 

The story Cooma captain to plays 200th game first appeared on Canberra Times.

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