Player: Joe Didulica : LUSENET : Ajax USA : One Thread

This is the place to post your comments and questions about Joe Didulica, #31.

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2001


You MUST read this pretty spectacular in terview with Joey, published by the Sydney Morning Herald. Joey: STAY! I'm asking you this as an Ajax fan, but it's also an advice from a guy your age, very much on the same wavelength as you (attitude-wise). This is not the time. You're at the start of something really beautiful at Ajax right now (finally!). If you go to Barcelona or whatever now, you'll find yourself on the bench again for a few years. You wouldn't be the first goalkeeper rotting away on the bench over there. The upcoming five years will be the best five years in your career (25 to 30, that's when it's all supposed to happen). You now have a starting slot at a great club, in a great team, which will lose one or two players, but will remain intact for the large part. There's many more Champions League games to play for you here. I wouldn't bet on that with most other clubs.

Also: the remarks about Fred Grim absolutely flabbergasted me. Very surprising. But if Joey says so...

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2002

What is it with Australian/Croatian goalies?

Mark (sniff sniff) Bosnich of Chelsea has the same backgound doesn't he?

-- Anonymous, December 04, 2002

Hello from Rijeka in Croatia! I saw Didulica for the first time when Ajax played against Valencia and he was impressive! As far as his surname is concerned, you have to bare in mind that he comes from Croatian descent and we pronounce it "DI-DOO-LI-TSA" or something like that. Of course, he is Australian and maybe they have another way to pronounce it. Finally, today I read an interview with Joe where he says that his greatest dream is to play for Croatia. Isn't he great?

-- Anonymous, December 04, 2002

I have it on the highest possible authority: "The correct way to pronounce Joey's surname is Didoolitsa as Bill has stated." Well, that is settled. And somehow, you just *knew* that FSW had it wrong.

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2002

Great news indeed Menno. The guy just has tremendous reflexes and ceratainly had my vote yesterday for MOM. The only problem I have had with him in the past is how to pronounce his name, but now that has been cleared up - Go Didoolitsa go. Also is it a coincidence, but as soon as we appear to clear up how to pronounce his name, he gets offered a new contract - spooky or what ;- )

-- Anonymous, December 02, 2002

Yeah, this is my third post to this thread in five minutes' time or so... but this time it IS important!!

Great, great news in today's edition of newspaper Het Parool!

Ajax technical director, Leo Beenhakker, has told the paper that Ajax wants to offer Joey a new contract! His current contract expires at season's end and it seemed like it was not going to be extended. But now, Ajax wants to start talking with Joey about a new contract. The goalkeeper did not know this himself when the news appeared in the media (weird, but probably a pleasant surprise). Ronald Koeman said: "Joey is now my first man."

GREAT! Let me tell you one thing: the fans will be delighted by this news. Joey is becoming a true fan favourite at the ArenA. The crowd loves him.

-- Anonymous, December 02, 2002

Simon wrote: "And does it really matter?"

Of course it doesn't. But aren't we having one hell of a good time babbling about this crap? ;-)

-- Anonymous, December 02, 2002

Simon wrote: "What's the correct pronunciation? The American commentators on ESPN say DI-DOO-LI-KA. Yet, turn the channel over to Fox Sports Australia and Andy Paschalidis calls him DIDDLE-IT-SA. Who knows?!"

Well, the stadium announcer at the Amsterdam ArenA pronounces it as 'diddoo-LIT-sa', stressing the 'lit' syllable. It's basically the latter option from your post, but with a little bit more of an 'oo' sound in the 'diddle' bit (am I making sense here?).

I think the stadium announcer guy asked Joey for the right pronunciation. He does that all the time, cos he's had a few tricky cases to deal with in recent years (Ikedia was the trickiest one; at least three versions circulated on the stands, on TV, etcetera).

By the way: Joey's mother, Mary, is one a devoted member of Ajax USA. Maybe she can enlighten us...

-- Anonymous, December 02, 2002

Onya Joey! Australian soccer may be in an awful state of affairs, but its good to see our national team's future looks bright when Joey will take over the job from Mark Schwarzer.

Just a bit of a trivial matter though... What's the correct pronunciation? The American commentators on ESPN say DI-DOO-LI-KA. Yet, turn the channel over to Fox Sports Australia and Andy Paschalidis calls him DIDDLE-IT-SA. Who knows?! And does it really matter?

-- Anonymous, December 02, 2002

After a few really good (sometimes brilliant...) performances by Joey, it's slowly becoming a little ironic that his contract expires at season's end. Several Dutch newspapers have reported that he will not get a new contract. But that was before the Valencia game. Here's what Ronald Koeman had to say about Joey in newspaper Algemeen Dagblad:

"I have faith in Joey. He's not too great when he has to play with his feet, but mostly, he keeps the ball out of his goal. That's what it's all about. Moreover: in training, Stekelenburg has not convinced me that he deserves to be the number one again. I want to know from the board what the situation is before the winter-break."

My feeling is that Joey has won a new contract on Wednesday!

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

I have seen an excellent Joey against Valencia!! He had een couple of fantastic saves. Joey, keep up the good work en please stay at AJAX..

The way you react to the fans is an example for the other players.

Good luck and hopefully I will see you at AJAX the next few years.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

The Ajax coach certainly knows what this game is all about. He has a world class keeper in Joe Didulica and is clearly the 1st choice keeper. He has shown that he is the man to have when the pressure is on, and there is plenty of pressure in the Champions league.This young man is a rare talent who will keep Ajax in the hunt to become the best team in Europe.Keep up the great work Joe!!!

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2002

Congratulations Joey! From the match notes on, it sounds like you played a blinder!!! How awesome, to play so well on your return to action in such a HUGE game. Your mom must be SOOOOOO proud! :-)

Maybe we'll see some more Joey action for Ajax-Inter. And with Chivu's red-card, Ajax will probably need another great game from the keeper, though I hope you have nothing to do all day... :-)

I might be getting a tape of today's game. A friend with a French- Canadian satellite system thinks he might have taped it. Won't know 'till tonight. Fingers crossed!

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Joey turns 25! Congratulations, buddy. May it be the best year of your career!

By the way: I was thinking "who would be the next best Ajax player to do a show with Boom Chicago?" The first two names that crossed my mind were those of Joey Didulica and, secondly, Zlatan. I think they have comedy talent... Joey would of course have the advantage of being s native speaker of English.

Maybe John O'Brien can set it up, so that Boom Chicago can do a special 'Boom Chicago meets Crocodile Dundee' show or whatever :-)

Count me in for tickets!

-- Anonymous, October 14, 2002

It's Joey's birthday today, so congratulations!

-- Anonymous, October 14, 2002

Whilst certainly not blaming him for the goals, he did go to ground too quickly. Later in the game he did stand his ground and thus made a couple of excellant saves.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

From, here are Joey Didulica's thoughts on yesterday's NAC game (his return to Ajax-1 action, after weeks of injury misery):

"It was a bizarre game. In my first game in a long time, the first two times I even touched the ball were to pick it out of the net. That was not a good start. I would have liked to save a ball to keep the team in the game, after those two mistakes. Luckily, this happened after twenty minutes into the second half. I kept believing in a victory. We always attack and we always get chances. But NAC could have scored another one as well. Luckily, I saved that one. I really don't want to watch this one on TV tonight, but I will watch anyway. The first twenty minutes were a nightmare."

It wasn't Joey's lucky day. In my opinion, there was nothing he could do about the goals. However, in the remainder of the game he seemed a bit shaky, a bit insecure at high crosses. He wasn't entirely safe, in my experience. But I believe in Joey and I really want him to play in Trondheim and at F-Word, next week. The alternative would be Henk Timmer, but I hardly know that guy. Joey is the man we need.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

Attention Australia! ;-)

It's confirmed by Ronald Koeman on Joey Didulica will be Ajax' goalkeeper on Sunday, against NAC. The Aussie stated that he's "top fit" and ready for it. He played the full ninety minutes with Young Ajax against Young PSV a few days ago (3-1 win). Henk Timmer, who replaced injured Maarten Stekelenburg in Milan, will return to the bench "We signed him as a reserve goalkeeper", was Ronald Koeman's comment.

I think this is good news. As most of you will know by now, I like Joey as a person and as a goalkeeper. It will be a tough gam, believe me. NAC is unbeaten and doing well. I think a few players will be kept out of the Ajax line-up (Litmanen, Chivu?) and it will be hard to give everything with the Inter still in everyone's minds and Rosenborg coming up.

Therefore: good luck, Joey. Good to have you back!

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

Yes, Joey will play next Sunday!

Didulica maakt zondag seizoendebuut Amsterdam, 27 september 2002 Na de vrijdagtraining, die door vele basisspelers overgeslagen mocht worden, maakte trainer Ronald Koeman bekend dat hij in de wedstrijd tegen NAC gebruik gaat maken van Joey Didulica als keeper. Daardoor blijft Henk Timmer reserve-doelman.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

Yes, Ben is right!

The good news is on several Ajax sites, including Joey is ready to rock 'n' roll. He is completely recovered from his injury and - in this two week stretch without any league football - played in a training game between Ajax-1 and Young Ajax, on the ArenA training pitch. For more about this test game, please fasten your seatbelts and fly to the Friendly Games thread...

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2002

Ajax has a small article regarding Joe D. It appears there was a "friendly" between Ajax-1 and Jong Ajax.Can someone please advise if the gist of the article is that Joe D. took some part in the match, won by Ajax-1 4:0.If he was able to take part, that would be gr8 news indeed.

-- Anonymous, September 06, 2002

It was unfortunate to hear that Joey got an injury just before the season started. Thank goodness it is just a minor injury and that he will be fit and ready to play soon. He is a brilliant goal keeper and I can't wait to see him again this year. He can jump higher than any goalkeeper I have ever seen, and believe me I have seen lots of goal keepers. He is a talented guy, and Ajax and Joey are a good combination. Good luck Joey and good luck Ajax for the year, from your friends in Los Angeles.

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2002

All Joey's friends at "Kate's work" in Melbourne wish him all the best and hope his recovery is going well. I am sure he is being "well nursed"! Joey is a true gentleman, and deserves to be the #1 Keeper for Ajax.

-- Anonymous, August 20, 2002

I was really shocked when I heard the news last week about Joey's injury. I hoped he would be the AJAX #1 this season, but I'm afraid he has to wait another year to get his chance. Joey is great and is always good for the fans. And he always makes fantastic jumps when he is busy warming up. I hope he will be back soon.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

Menno is right. Joey did injure his ankle this morning, however it is not broken. he sprained some ligaments in his right ankle, and a piece of bone broke off. The prediction is as such that he will miss about 6 weeks of action. Poor Joey, the picture shows him being in a lot of pain. and that ankle is huge. check out

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2002

Bad news... There are rumours on the Ajax Mania discussion board that Joey Didulica sustained a very bad ankle injury during training this morning. The guys who posted it claim it was on TV this morning (NOS Sportjournaal), so it sounds reliable. Reportedly, he was brought to a hospital, cos there's a serious chance that his ankle is broken. We'll keep you posted, either in this thread, or (if it's true) on the Ajax USA homepage.

This would be very, very sad for Joey: dropping out of the team now the 'battle of the goalkeepers' (with Lobont) is about to enter its critical phase, in which international top sides are the opponents and the goalkeepers will finally be able to show what they've got.

Once again: I'll keep you posted.

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2002

Boras and Punter are here and just wondering why the hell you aren't yet a regular first choice keeper at Ajax. It can't be too far away buddy. All we can say to you is until you are first choice at Ajax, just keep up the good work with the Falshaways off the field...

Take care and speak soon

KAS forever

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2002

Joey was a true gentleman once again. He's an ambassador for both Ajax and Geelong. I'll have to take my wife and kids there someday; a place that produces such amicable people must be worth a visit!!!

But somebody has to do SOMETHING about the lack of tequila in the Toekomst bar. Out-RAGE-ous... I got it! We'll bring a nice big bottle of 'to-kill-ya' next year, and whatever we don't drink can go behind the bar, courtesy of Ajax USA. :-)

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2002

I hereby declare that Ajax USA is very disappointed. We thought Joey Didulica was a man of his word. But he isn't. After training on Wednesday, he told us he was gonna meet us at De Toekomst on Saturday, and that he was gonna buy us a round of tequilas. But he didn't. He bought us sambucas and beers (cuz they had no tequila at the Toekomst bar...).

Seriously: Joey Didulica is a fantastic, absolutely wonderful ambassador for Ajax. I've never met such a sincere, amicable football player before. After training, on Wednesday, he recognized us instantly and joined us for a chat. He was expecting us on Saturday and bought us drinks.

Joey Didulica is a true Ajacied, and a great goalkeeper, too. He's our man for next season, hopefully.

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2002

Twelve months ago I told you that you had the new Van Der Saar at your club . It is great to see that Joey has finally been given the opportunity to display his talent .Every player has to retire at some stage and Fred Grim is at that stage . It would be a backward step to play Fred when you have a great young keeper in form. Thanks for the memories Fred and let our new young "Gun" be the Number 1 keeper . Go Joey !!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002



-- Anonymous, February 20, 2002

It's great to see Joey finally getting the recognition and plaudits he thoroughly deserves. Missing out on the Sydney Olympics through injury was devastating, both for himself and his family. Now he's back and I'm not alone in saying its time for Fredi to move on and let the world see how talented a keeper Joey really is.

Cheers, from your Geelong buddy Denis Marinovic

-- Anonymous, February 06, 2002

I think that Joey is a talented keeper, but I prefer Bogdan as our # 1 with a good second in Joey. So I hope Ronald thinks bout Chivu's friend and reels him back to Amsterdam! And incidently I hope Lobont still wants to come haha And concerning Fred Grim...I hope he will become a keepers trainer with Ajax after the season, cause you either hate or love Grim but undeniably he has his moments! And we need a keepers trainer too so, welcome to my Goalie's Utopia and all is solved =)

Ajax 4 - Life!

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

Jim, dude... We don't have a disagreement :-)

I don't think Vitesse's goal was a "mistake" by Joey. I neither think he should have tried to intercept the cross, nor do I think that the cross was catchable. The goal was the result of spectacularly bad marking. The left winger (black guy; forgot his name) was completely unmarked. He could have his wife before passing to Claessens, who was *also* unmarked and had a free finish. No blame for Joey.

The only thing I said was that I think a lot of goalkeepers would have tried to catch the cross. Some really tall ones would have succeeded (maybe); others would have missed it and would have looked stupid. I don't know. Maybe it would have been better to go for that cross and try to punch or whatever. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

But what Joey did, was definitely not "wrong" or whatever.

He had a few very exceptionally good moments: the first half low shot, which he saved with his upper leg, and then there was a deep pass in the second half and Joey quickly ran out of his penalty box to clear. A lot of goalkeepers would have stayed on the line in that case, I guess, and then it would have been an open scoring chance for Vitesse. Thanks to Joey's quick running, it never even became a chance. All in all: good performance.

FC Utrecht is gonna be tougher. He'll be much more under fire on Sunday. Also, FC Utrecht is a pretty physical team. They'll definitely physically attack him more often than the Vitesse strikers did. But I trust Joey. He's cool.

-- Anonymous, December 20, 2001

Great debut for our pal Joey. I disagree with Menno ... yeah yeah, he was there, I wasn't, big deal... ;-) I don't think Joey could've prevented the Vitesse goal. But who cares? He made a brilliant save a few minutes later, turning away a sure goal on a great reflex save. If that one goes in, who knows how the night might have gone!?

Well done Joey! Keep up the good work in Utrecht!

-- Anonymous, December 20, 2001

Goodluck Joey.

You deserve your chance and I am sure you will do very well. Just remember to enjoy the moment. We are all thinking of you. Our children still talk about you because of your generosity to them and their school.

The Kennedy Family
Lara, Victoria, Australia

-- Anonymous, December 20, 2001

Joey - best of luck in your debut - you have worked hard for the opportunity and we all know that you will make us proud!! Have fun and think back to the times of watching the Amsterdam Tigers hockey club!!

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2001

GOOD LUCK JOEY! Show us how good you are! The Ajax-USA banner will be behind as a mental support.

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2001

I hope God is listening to you Menno."No score for them" is what Ajax needs most the last 2 years.Let's see what happens tonight...

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2001

You certainly are a class act Joey. Show the world what you're made of. I'll never forget you. I hope you haven't forgotten me???

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2001




-- Anonymous, December 18, 2001

Well Joey has finally got his chance! All of us here in Australia who are Ajax Supporters, and just soccer supporters in general, wish him well. We know he has trained hard and worked hard for good luck really deserve're a good guy....good luck...good luck...good luck......we know you'll do your best for Ajax...

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2001 reports that Fred Grim's knee injury (sustained against Roda JC) is pretty serious. He's sure to miss the last two games before the winter break (at home against Vitesse and away to FC Utrecht). Too bad for Freddy, but it means we'll see more of Joey Didulica! I assume Ronald Koeman will give him a shot, with Maarten Stekelenburg on the bench.

I think this is a good thing. Fred Grim has had a decent season last year and is doing fine so far in this one, but then again: he'll quit in a few years' time and it would not be a good idea if his successor had no Ajax-1 experience whatsoever.

I trust Joey. I've seen him play a few games for Young Ajax and he's good, especially his reflex on the line. It's a bit awkward for him to make his debut in two pretty tough games. Vitesse and FC Utrecht... That's serious shit.

You can do it, Joe.

-- Anonymous, December 17, 2001

News on Joey, taken from

Didulica says goodbye to GBA with draw

After Bogdan Lobont's departure to Romania, Joey Didulica will return to Amsterdam this week. The Australian goalkeeper had to wait until this week, because there was still one game to play for him with GBA, Ajax' Belgian satellite club. Against St. truiden, GBA drew, 2-2.

After Haagdoren gave GBA a 1-0 lead, Didulica saw St. Truiden score from the penalty spot. He could not stop i: 1-1. GBA went down, 1-2, before Haagdoren struck once again, making it 2-2 three minutes from time.

Didulica will *not* join Ajax to Cyprus this week. Since he was not on the official player list Ajax sent the UEFA at the beginning of the season, Didulica is not allowed to play European games for Ajax yet. Therefore, Maarten Stekelenburg travelled along to Cyprus as back-up for Fred Grim.

Here's the GBA line-up from the game against St. Truiden: Didulica - Svetlicic, Beloufa (59' Bodor), Dhont (84' Lee Sang), Monteyne - Huysmans, Reigel, Haagdoren, De Wree - Degryse en Kpaka (69' Snelders).

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2001

Good Luck on Joey's new venture to Belgium, hopefully the year on loan will be a great experience and bring you back to AJAX as #1 where you belong. All the best, we love you.

Joe, Trish & Mia Flanjak

-- Anonymous, July 25, 2001

Joey is now listed on the 'players leaving' page on AT5 Text. He's off to Germinal Beerschot Antwerp for a while, according to AT5. has not reported about this yet, by the way, but I'm guessing they wouldn't anyway.

I hope we'll have him back next year, to replace Fred Grim.

-- Anonymous, June 17, 2001

He is a great goalkeeper and a great mate!!!All the best!!! Your cousin Marijana

-- Anonymous, May 23, 2001

That's right!

Back in the mid-90s, Louis van Gaal had this tradition of lining up the reserve goalie (back then: Fred Grim...) in the last game of the season, as a 'thank you' for supporting his colleague all season. Morten Olsen, Jan Wouters and Hans Westerhof sort of stopeed doing that, but Co was Louis van Gaal's partner, so maybe he'll re- introduce this tradition.

I'm fed up with Fred Grim: against Vitesse, it was the second time in two weeks's time that he just dropped an easy cross, right in front of a striker waiting to finish. He's cost us points. He's average and he's old. Against AZ, it's JOEY TIME, I say.

-- Anonymous, May 20, 2001

Our 'Ajax In April' group watched Joey play against De Graafschap. He was simply not forced to do anything spectacular (5-0 score to Ajax). After the game, we met Joey and it's just amazing what a nice guy he is. He bought us beers and was very open. He spent a lot of time with us. John O'Brien was there, too.

Joey told us that his loan to some German Bundesliga team is now off and that he is likely to be loaned out to Germinal Beerschot Antwerp next season. This was reported by AT5 TeleText the day after.

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2001

For two games in a row now (last Sunday at Groningen, too), Fred Grim seemed to be injured, so Co Adriaanse sent Joey out of the dug-out to do a warming-up. The signs are obvious: his Ajax-1 debut is coming soon...

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001

There are rumors on several Ajax discussion dorums that Joe Didulica will be loaned out to Ajax's Belgian satellite club, Germinal Beerschot Antwerp, next season. I don't know whether they're true or not, but I think it might be a good idea. A year in Belgium's First Class can be a valuable experience for a young player, before returning to Ajax and play for Ajax-1.

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2001

Congrats to Joe! Really great for him after such a terrible summer, missing the Olympics in his home country. Only, the funny thing is: I don't know anything about him. I know what he looks like, but don't know how good he is. Maybe a good thing to watch a Ajax-2 match soon, since he's their number one goalie now.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2001

It's really great.We will be on the top with Joe and Lobont again soon.I hope Ajax can win the championship and do great in the Champions League in the early future.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2001

Yo! Joe Didulica has signed a new contract with Ajax (officially announced by today). He will now be an Ajacied until (at least) 1 July, 2003.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2001

I have seen Joe Didulica keep for Australia on a couple of occasions . This boy is the next Van der Saar !!!!!!!! He is a brilliant keeper with the safest hands around . If Ajax wants to do the right thing by everyone it should thank Fred Grim and tell him he is too old , slow and unreliable.[Who is out of the cup because of him? ]Joe Didulica should be given the opportunity to show he is the best keeper around .

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2001

A bit of background:

Joe was born in Geelong, Australia, on 14 October, 1977. His previous club was the Melbourne Knights of the National Soccer League of Australia. He was selected to be the goalkeeper for the Australian Olympic team for the Sydney Olympics, but the day before the first match he cracked a bone in his leg. It was devastating for him. But he made a full recovery and was fit and well again just four weeks later.

Joe used to be a midfielder and striker up to the age of 16. His team didn't have a keeper for one match, so Joey stepped in to replace him, and really enjoyed it. So he stayed there. It was a good career move. He was at University when Ajax offered him a contract and his family had to convince him that it would be OK to leave his studies.

He joined Ajax in October of 1999, and wears the #31 shirt.

This picture was taken of him a few weeks ago while he was at home on holidays.

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2001

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