Geelongâ€™s star football (soccer) goalkeeper, Joey Didulica, tied the knot with his bride Kate Dzidzic at St Monicaâ€™s Catholic Church in Moonee Ponds on Friday. It was a sparkling ceremony attended by a large circle of the brideâ€™s and groomâ€™s family and friends and members of the Croatian community from Geelong and Melbourne. Even the officiating priest got in the act, insisting on having his photograph taken along with the happy couple with his own camera !
In the evening the reception took place at the Ultima Function Centre in Keilor as the guests gave the young couple a great send off. Among the speakers were Joeyâ€™s best man and North Geelong star Mijo Trupkovic and the former principal of Wesley College, David Loader, who encouraged Kate to follow her heart to Europe where Joey is playing with Austria Vienna in the Austrian Bundesliga.
The highlight of the evening, however, was Joeyâ€™s response on behalf of himself and his bride, delivered in Croatian and English and bringing the house down. If he ever tires of goalkeeping he has a career as a stand-up comic just waiting for him. After a brief honeymoon the couple will return to Vienna as the football competition is in its winter break, but Joeyâ€™s next major event will be with the Croatian national team in a tournament in Hong Kong, where he has been promised a starting role by the coach in the build up to the World Cup in Germany. Coincidentally Croatia is drawn in the same group as Australia and Joey could be in direct opposition to his childhood friend Josip Skoko of the Socceroos.
Mijo Trupkovic should have the last word though. Having praised the bridegroom and saluted his football career, he ended with a rousing â€˜Go Aussiesâ€™, which brought the house down again.
(An edited version appeared in the Geelong Advertiser, Monday, 9 January 2006, p. 7.)