There have been numerous times when SBS broadcaster Lucy Zelic almost gave up on pursuing her passion of football.
Zelic said she is “terrified” to think what she would be doing now if she had quit.
The enthusiasm for football runs in the Zelic household. Her father has been a big fan of the sport since he was a boy and he passed the love for football on to his four children. Zelic’s two brothers Ned and Ivan Zelic grew up to be professional footballers. The oldest of the siblings, Ned, went on to play for the Socceroos and is now a commentator at Fox Sports.
“It all started from playing football in the backyard with him [Ivan],” Zelic told Mediaweek. “Do you know that wonderful, warm, nostalgic feeling you get when you reflect on your childhood days and the best memories that you forge there? All of them involve football for me.
“I don’t get as much enjoyment from anything else – whether it be a hobby or even a relationship – as I do from football.”
The road to SBS and covering football hasn’t been an easy one for Zelic. In her own words, “The journey has been a chequered one, a colourful one, a disappointing one and also a rewarding one.”
Like any other child, Zelic did not know what she wanted to become as she was growing up. “I wanted to be a storm chaser at one point,” she said. [Laughs] “Thank God that drifted off, for my mother’s sake. She would be mortified when I came home as a kid in year four with projects on tornados. I would tell her that that is what I wanted to do.”
Zelic remembered that she always loved writing and had a passion for football. However, she didn’t think she could make much of it. It wasn’t until she was 20 when she attended a soccer match in Germany that these two passions really came to the surface.
“At that stage I thought I just want to end up writing for the local Chronicle – that would have been fine. I would have been happy with the situation,” Zelic said. At this point, she enrolled herself at University of Canberra to study journalism and sport business. During this time, Zelic discovered her love for radio.
“I started working at a local radio station on a two-hour program. It was just me and two other guys and we would talk football for the two hours,” she remembered. It was these two colleagues who later played an instrumental role in bringing Zelic back to the world of football and journalism after she first walked away from it.
After facing a string of rejections from the industry during her final year at university, Zelic left the local Canberra station 2XX FM and got a job in the public service to make ends meet.
This is an excerpt of the full article, which appears in the latest issue of Mediaweek magazine.
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