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Apr 21, 2012

Perth Glory keeper seeks redemption

Sitting in at the A-League grand final press conference on Saturday was probably the last thing Perth Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic would have wanted.

Especially after his now infamous last appearance in an A-League decider.

Yet Vukovic not only was the first to prompt punters about his career-defining gaffe four years ago as Central Coast Mariners' ill-fated gloveman, he willingly volunteered on Saturday that a win would finally bring him closure.

History shows that a young Vukovic was slapped with a nine month ban - also costing him a 2008 Olyroos campaign - after hitting A-League grand final referee Mark Shield when a handball call was knocked back during the frustrating 1-0 extra-time loss to arch rivals Newcastle.

They say time heals all wounds, but it seems only a championship win will help Vukovic make some peace and finally ditch his "notorious" tag.

"I think so. Obviously with what I did, it was a tough time in my life," Vukovic said on Saturday.

"That will always live in my memory, something terrible that I did - a stupid mistake.

"Unfortunately I will be remembered for that rather than my performances on the pitch.

"But to not win a grand final after being in two of them (for the Mariners) is also something very tough.

"Everyone knows what happened the last time I was in a grand final.

"Tomorrow is a good chance to rectify the wrongs I have done.

"I haven't won one yet - hopefully tomorrow is the day."

Vukovic wasn't alone when he arrived at Perth this season hoping for A-League Glory.

He was one of 12 newcomers along with the likes of Shane Smeltz and Travis Dodd to have arrived at Perth hoping for a championship tilt.

Despite the spate of new faces, Vukovic always believed they would slot into a championship mix.

"I always had belief. That's why I came to the club," he said.

"We had the makings of a very good side.

"We didn't know how long it was going to take for us to gel.

"But we managed to turn it around after that form slump (in December after going 11 games out of 12 without a win) - we always had that belief."

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