Zelic drops ball to kick off TV host try
A-League: Fridays, 7pm, SBS2.
SBS A-League recruit Lucy Zelic intends to shake the tag of being the sister of an Australian soccer legend when she gets behind the microphone this week. Zelic (pictured) is the youngest sister of former Socceroos star Ned Zelic and also of Olyroos player Ivan Zelic, who is now an actor. Ivan has changed his last name to Ford and has appeared on Packed to the Rafters and soapie Home and Away. But with a degree in journalism and a major in sports business, the youngest Zelic has more to offer A-League coverage than a name indelibly linked to Australian soccer. Lucy will not only co-host, alongside David Zdrilic and Craig Foster, on Friday night’s live A-League coverage on SBS2 but she will also appear on Thursday’s entertainment show.
She expects some fans to be cynical about why she was recruited. ‘‘It’s not like I have burst on the scene and given this job because of my last name,’’ Zelic explains. ‘‘The thing I am the most proud of is I didn’t want to use my last name to an advantage. I studied sports business and journalism because it’s something that I wanted to do and I am passionate about the game.’’ Before signing with SBS, Zelic was the host of the official A-League podcast. She also commentated on the women’s Westfield W-League for radio and appeared on the Balls ’n’ All FM show. In her first few weeks on the SBS2 A-League coverage, Zelic will be roving the sideline and conducting pre- and post-match interviews before graduating to a cohosting role. While it’s easy to allude that she loves the game because of her brother’s involvement, she’s not sure if that’s really the case. ‘‘For years I had wondered if growing up in this environment is what drew me to football because it is something that you can’t escape,’’ Zelic says. ‘‘But my sister, for example, has no interest in football. When Ned was catapulted into all of his success in 1992 . . . I was only six years old so I had no idea what was going on.’’ Zelic praised the ground-breaking work of Foxtel’s former A-League reporter Mel McLaughlin who has moved to Channel 10. McLaughlin has earned respect in a male-dominated industry and Zelic wants to do likewise. ‘‘. . . some people of old can’t get used to the fact women can have an educated opinion on the game,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s about establishing myself in the world of journalism and proving women can do this and you only have to look to Mel McLaughlin . . . she did such a great job.’’
– DARREN CARTWRIGHT