It is no secret that anyone that has had the pleasure of meeting Petar Markovic understands instantly he bleeds Red and White for his beloved Sydney United 58 club.
Having retired in 2019 after twenty-two solid years spilling his heart and soul for the club, Markovic continues to play a pivotal role at the Edensor Park headquarters albeit as the assistant to Zeljko Kalac in the senior team as well as managing the Under 10’s SAP side.
During his twenty-two solid seasons, Markovic has made many lifelong friends with players, coaches, and fans – even opponents who went on to be mates with this all-round gentleman of our NPL.
One family in particular, the Grabovac’s, blessed with three triplets Oliver, Liam and of course Adam, have been staunch supporters of the club and have loved watching Markovic play.
It was however 16-year-old Adam that would steal all the headlines and of course Petar’s heart.
Anyone that has witnessed any Sydney United 58 home or away match in the last few seasons would have noticed young Adam cheering for his much-adored United club, supporting his good friend Petar.
Adam’s first ever United match he attended was as a two-year-old, still in nappies, supporting the Reds to a 2006 NSW Premier League Grand Final victory at Marconi Stadium as Markovic and co defeated Blacktown City 4-0.
It was love at first sight as from then on, his Father Ante, Uncle Ivan and Godfather Mile have taken Adam to almost every United match.
It is there you see Petar’s admiration for the young gun taking him by his side, talking to him pre- and post-match as well as inviting him into the dressing sheds singing the winning song.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, Markovic has been keeping a close eye on Adam and had the chance to catch up recently gifting him his final jersey he wore after hanging up his boots last year.
“I’ve known Adam since the boys were born.
“Everybody was talking about the Grabovac family having triplets.
“A well-recognised family within the Croatian community, as years went on, Adam became a fan favourite.
“Whichever Croatian singer toured the country; Adam was up on stage singing all the lyrics with each singer. (The kid is a jukebox!)
“Adam and his brothers are always at our games, home or away.
“Throughout the years, I’ve gained a close friendship with Adam as we text and FaceTime from time to time.
“Such a passionate kid, I’ve watched him celebrate victories, and seen him cry at defeats.
“I know he watches all our matches current and old constantly on YouTube, he loves it.
“As an appreciation for all his loyal support, he was the first person on my mind to give away my last worn home Sydney United jersey
“I’m proud to call Adam a close friend of mine.”
In an amazing story, when not supporting United, young Adam is also a keen footballer playing with the St George Warriors.
Adam has down syndrome and the program gives him the chance to play mainstream football on a weekly basis in the St George Football Association competition.
The St George Warriors team was introduced in 2015 catering for children with special needs, something he has thrived on since registering five years ago.
Along with his football obsessed brothers Oliver who is the current Under 16s captain at Stanmore Hawks and Liam who has registered with Hurstville FC, the trio are a prime example on how powerful and unique our beautiful sport is.
The world game most definitely lives and breathes in the Grabovac household.
And as for Petar, bravo, you continue to shine off the pitch with sights and actions such as this, a true testament to the person and character you are.