Croatians in Sport in WA

                                                        CROATIANS in SPORT in WA

Compiled by Tony Parentich     March, 2001


Ivan Antunovich     (Drvenik) born 1895 and came to Australia (Perth) in 1912. Interned at Holdsworthy Army Camp in Liverpool (NSW) as “Austrian Slav” in 1915 until 1919. Won Decathalon at camp 1918.

Zvonko Marian      (Hvar) discus, shotput, javelin.
Born in Armadale 1913. Family returned to Croatia (Zagreb) in 1921.
Represented Croatia in 30’s and 40’s and competed in European Games with distinction.. Returned to Australia after WW II and in 1947/1948 broke State record for discus four times ( 43.125m).

Len Vlahov             ( Sepurina) discus and shotput. 1956/57 Australian Junior Record in discus.
State Champion from 1960 for 21 years.
National Champion 1965 and 1975.Empire Games in Perth 1962.
World University Games, Tokyo 1967- flag bearer.
Basketballer and musician.
President UWA Athletics Club, WA Athletics Club and Perth Basketball Club.

Jack ( Zlatko) Sumich (Podgora) State titles in javelin and high hurdles, 2nd in 100m sprint.
State Decathalon Champion 1959
UK British Decathalon Champion 1961/62/63. Record ‘62/63

Nick Brozicevich    ( Crkvenica) State grade triple jumper in 1960’s

Melissa Delich        (Sepurina) 2001 WA shotput champion.

Susan Katnic          (Crkvenica) State athlete in track and field in 1970’s


George Turich          ( Vrgorac) State Junior Champion 1958
Australian Champion 1959


Tony Mateljan (Hvar) All Australian 1950/60
Doug ( son )                All Australian

Andrew Vlahov ( son of Len ) as junior excelled in football, athletics and soccer.
Basketball – at 15 yo played for Perth Redbacks “A” Grade .
Member Australian Olympic teams : Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.
Captain and part owner Perth Wildcats

James Talijancich (Igrane) State Junior and Senior representative in 1970’s


Osborne Park Bowling Club

Branko Katunarich (Split ) First Croatian to win Australian Title 1964.
Marian Yaksich ( Brac )
Tony Andrijasevich (Gradac )
Vic Andrijasevich (Gradac )
Joe Rodin ( Luka )

Cockburn Bowling Club the most successful club in WA over three decades ( 70’s, 80’s and 90’s). Approximately 50% of members were of Croatian heritage. Division Pennants in 25 years.

Lovre Sumich (Sapurina)                              Smiljana Jakovich (Solta )   Womens Club Champ 12 times

Tony Cukrov                                                Elsie Yakas ( Hvar)                Womens Club Champ 1973
Spiro Novak (Vela Luka)                              Ursula Marinovich (Zupa )  Womens Club Champion 1980
Peter Novak
Milan Bacich (Blato)
Peter Sardelich
Tony Srhoy (Hvar)
Jack Srhoy
Tony Yakas
Tony Ajduk (Vrgorac )
John Ravlich
Tony Grljusich
Tony Krajancich 
Marko Krajancich

Australian Representatives

Branko Katunarich  –  World Bowls, South Africa
Steve Srhoy             –  Trans-Tasman, Commonwealth Games Canada
Denis Katunarich    –  Trans Tasman, Comm Games (NZ), World Bowls
Peter Sardelich       –  Trans Tasman, Comm Games (Scotland) World Bowls

WA State Representatives (years)
Denis Katunarich (22) Vic Andrijasevich (5) Steve Srhoy (20) Zvonko Norac (4)
Peter Sardelich (20) Joe Rodin (13) Brian Katunarich (3)
Geoff Ajduk (8) John Ravlich (2)
Milan Bacich (8) Tony Krajancich (1)
Branko Katunarich (8) Spiro Novak (1)
Marko Krajancich (7) Tony Srhoy (1)
Marian Yaksich (1)

WA State Championship Competitors
Denis Katunarich 11 times, Marko Krajancich 9, Steve Srhoy 8, Joe Rodin 6, Branko Katunarich 5, Tony Srhoy 5, Milan Bacich 3, Peter Sardelich 3, Tony Andrijasevich 2, Tony Krajancich 2, Zvonko Norac (Sibenik)2, Spiro Novak 2, Bob Pupich 2, John Ravlich 2, Matt Turkich (Vrgorac) 2, Marion Yaksich 2, Geoff Ajduk 1, Vic Andrijasevich 1, Greg Bulich (Split) 1, Dinko Golem (Biograd na Moru) 1, Ivan Jakovich 1, Peter Lucev 1, Brian Katunarich 1, Mark Pasalich (Tucep) 1, John Slavich (Kali) 1, Jack Srhoy 1, Tony Yakas 1,

Lindsay Rosenthal Medalist
Denis Katunarich 3, Steve Srhoy 2, Tony Krajancich 2, Geoff Ajduk 1, Milan Bacich1, Branko Katunarich 1, Marko Krajancich, Joe Rodin 1
Note : Steve Srhoy was a National Selector for a number of years and the three brothers Jack, Tony and Steve Srhoy have won the State Triples Title

World International Deaf Bowls Championship
John Ravlich has an outstanding record:
1993 Melbourne Singles and Pairs winner
1995 Glasgow Singles winner, Runner up in Pairs
2003 Durban Singles and Fours runner up, Pairs winner
2003 Christchurch selected as Captain

Steve Zoranich     (Hvar). First fight 1949 (21yo). Had 100 fights over 10 year period with only 10 losses.
1952 Australian Amateur Heavyweight Champion
1954 Represented Australia in 1954 Vancouver Empire Games.
Tom Pervan         (Vrgorac) State Boxer in the 1950’s

Tony Mateljan     (Hvar) A Grade with Midland-Guilford Club in 1950’s and 60’s.
State player
Dennis Yagmich  (Drvenik Zaostrog) Played with Midland-Guilford 1963-74.
WA State player 1972/73 and 73/74, South Australian State player 1975 to 1978,
Packer World Cricket 2nd Eleven 1978, Midland-Guilford 1978/9
Nedlands Cricket Club Captain-Coach 1979/80 to 1983/84
Ross Grljusich    (Vrgorac) A Grade with Fremantle CC 1950’s and 60’s
Brian Rakich      A Grade with Midland-Guilford. President WACA 2002-2004
Len Pascoe ( born Durtanovic ) Born in Bridgetown.
Played first class cricket in NSW and in 14 Test matches between 1977-1982
Simon Katich   Born in Middle Swan.
Played 56 Test matches 2001-2010 and scored 4188 runs.

Matt Banovich (Zaostrog)
Played in 1950’s and 60’s. Represented Australia in world Championships.
Was inducted in WA Darts Hall of Fame.

Jack Rocchi       (Vis)
South Fremantle Football Club (SFFC) 1926-1929, 63 games, Sandover Medal 1928. State player 1929. AW Walker Medal 1928,29
Andy Rocke        (Vis) brother of Jack. EFFC 1920’s
Tony Yaksich      (Brac) WPFC 1950’s
Don Marinko.snr (BRAC) WPFC 1926-1939. Captain 1932/33.Played 234 games. Picked in All Time Best side.
Don Marinko.     Jnr . WPFC and EPFC 1952-64. Fairest and Best EP 1962. 182 games
Ray Marinko       WPFC 1953-55 and 1959-63, EP 1956-58. Played 193 games.
Tom Marinko      WPFC in 1950’s and St Kilda in 1964/5
Mick Marinko     WPFC in1950’s
Ray Gabelich       (Sibenik) 1955-60 and 1962-66 played 160 games with Collingwood Football Club in Victoria. 1961 18 games with WP in WA. Premiership with Collingwood 1958, Copeland Trophy winner 1960, All Australian Team 1961 .
Len Fode              (Brac) EPFC and EFFC in 1960’s
Nic Silich              (Vis) SFFC 1940’s and 50’s
Otto Santich        (Lastavo) SFFC 1940’s and 50’s
Tony Parentich    (Zaostrog) University Amateurs 1950/51, Best and Fairest 1950, Full Blue UWA 1950, State Amateur Team 1951, SFFC 1952-61, State selection 1952/53/54/58. AW Walker Medal 1957, Simpson Medal 1956 Grand Final.
Geoff Rakich       (Vrgorac) SDFC 1950’s
Vlade Rakich       SDFC 1950’s
Jack Turkich        (Vrgorac) SDFC 1950’s
Ron Turkich        SDFC 1950’s
Ray Lucev            (Sapurina) WPFC 1950’s, South Melbourne FC in VFL, 1965/66 30 games
Mladen Dragicevich (Brac)WPFC 1958-61
Eric Sarich            (Vrgorac) SFFC 1960-61, SDFC 1962-64, South Melbourne in VFL 1965/66/71, EFFC 1969/70 playing coach, 1970 Subiaco FC
Bob Bucat            (Hvar) SFFC 1959-66
Tony Solin           SFFC 1975-79 played 3 games, SDFC 1980-85 and 1988 played 118 games including 3 Premierships, 1986/87 EFFC played 36 games, State team 1983, Coach SFFC 1993/4
Robert Solin        SFFC and EFFC in 1970’s and 80’s
John Gerovich    (Solta/Korcula) SFFC 1955-1969, 221 games. 774 goals, State team 1956-61 , All Australian 1956, 2004 inducted WA Football Hall of Fame.
Ivan Glucina        SFFC 1963-70, 92 games, State 1967
Andy Grljusich    EFFC in 1940’s
George Grljusich SFFC 1960
Tom Grljusich     SFFC 1960-64, 1968-76, Central Districts (SA) 1965-67. Played 307 games. State (WA) 1968, 1969 (SA) 1965-67, AW Walker Medal 1968, 1972
Don Grljusich      SFFC 1963-69
John Grljusich     EFFC 1960’s
Rod Grljusich      SFFC and PFC 1980’s and 90’s
Dennis Novak     (Vela Luka) SFFC 1970’s
Jon Dorotich       (Vis) SFFC and Carlton FC 1980’s and 90’s. WA State rep
Jack (Zlatko) Sumich SFFC 1959/60/64. State 1959/60. A W Walker Medal 1960
Peter Sumich      Vrgorac) SFFC 1986-96, 112 games. West Coast 1989-97, 150 games, WA State 1988-93 , Premiership West Coast 1992/94, SFFC 1997
Adrian Barich     (Hrvatsko Primorije)
PFC 1984-94, 160 games, West Coast 1987-92, 47 games

Alan Jakovich     (Solta) SFFC, Brisbane and Melbourne AFL Clubs in 1990’s
Glen Jakovich     SFFC , 50 games 1989-91, West Coast 1991-2004 276 games, Premiership 1992 and 1994, WC Club champion 1993/4/5 and 2000. Australian Football Hall of Fame 2008
Darren Gaspar   (Vrgorac) SFFC. In AFL Sydney 1994-5 played 21 games, Richmond 1996-2007 played 207 games
Damien Gaspar  SFFC. In AFL Melbourne 1993-98 played 29 games. EFFC 1999-2006 110 games
Travis Gaspar    SFFC. In AFL West Coast 2001-05 28 games
Scott Watters    West Coast 1989-92 46 games, Swans 1993-4 37 games, Fremantle 1995/6 28 games. WA State team 1988-1993. Coach of Subiaco in WAFL and St Kilda in AFL
Luke Toia          (Vrgorac) Fremantle Dockers 1996-2003 played 63 games
Brendon Fewster
West Coast 1996-9 , 33 games, Fremantle 2000-2002, 37 games

George Bebich,     Swan Athletics, State Side 1955
Joe Rakich            (Vrgorac) Swan Athletics, State Side 1955, Ledger Medal 1956
Vlade Rakich         “ “ “ “ 1958
Len Dundo           (Blato) Swan Valley, Inglewood-Kiev and Kingsway-Olympic in 1970’s and 80’s. Top goalscorer in League for 7 to 8 years.State Rep many times.
Gary Mateljan      (Hvar) Morley-Windmills and Bayswater United. State Rep many times in 1970’s and 80’s
Robert Zabica      (Blato) Spearwood-Dalmatinac and Cockburn in State League then Adelaide in National League for 7 years.Represented Australia three times as Goalkeeper.
Tom Maras          (Makarska)     Spearwood-Dalmatinac and Perth-Italia. State Rep and Perth Glory 1997/98
Jason Petkovich (Blato) Spearwood-Dalmatinac then Adelaide City 1994-2001. Represented Socarros 10 times. National Goalkeeper Award 1997/8 and 1998/9 seasons.
Michael Petkovich Spearwood-Dalmatinac then South Melbourne in National League. Member Australian under 23 team in Atlanta Olympics

Gaye Svicarovich   (Vis) State and Australian player. Vice-Captain and Captain of Australian Team. Sportperson of the Year Award.Coach at AIS
Florence Radalj     (Vrgorac) WA State player in 1950’s

Tom Unkovich (Korcula) Leading WA jockey in 1940’s to 1960’s
Mark Sestich

Tom Pervan      (Vrgorac) Kings Cup rower in 1950’s
Alex Banovich  (Zaostrog) Rowed in 26 winning crews with Swan Club in 1950’s and 60’s. Rowed for WA in lightweight fours in Penrith Cup in NSW in 1964.
Tony Lovrich    (Rogosnica) Silver Medalist 1960 Rome Olympics in Sculls.
Ramon Anderson (Zaostrog, mother Enid Banovich) Bronze Medal in Kayak 1192 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics

Maria Donohoe (Parentich) (Zaostrog) Australian Titles Rep in 1990’s

Nina Katnich   (Hvar) State Squad 1950’s

Tony Martinovich    (Brac) 1950’s
Carl Turich                (Vrgorac ) Junior State Rep 1980-87, a number of State Titles, in AIS Team,, played internationally. A Grade player for many years.
Paula Parentich        (Zaostrog) Junior State Rep 1981-87,Channel 9 Player of the Year 1985/87/89. State Hardcourt Singles Champion 1984 at age of 14 years. WA State Open 1990, on International Circuit 1986-88.
Michelle Petkovich  (Blato) State Rep 1970’s
Michael Antunovich (Drvenik) State cRep in 1990’s

Jane Kargotich     (Split) 1990’s

The following people had significant involvement
Zarko Lukan        (Solta) 1940’s
Joe Matulich       (Vis) 1940’s
Joe, John and Len Stampalia (Trijbun) late 1950’s
Peter and Glen Stampalia 1980’s and 90’s
Lori and Budi Sumich 1990’s

Len Pervan     (Vrgorac) State Wrestler 1950’s

Eric  Surjan    (Korcula) Youth Commonwealth Games Scotland- Bronxe Medal Long Jump
Jacob Surjan  Bronze Medal Long Jump- National U/18 Bendigo Feb 2001
Adam Surjan State Little Athletics, Gold in Triple Jump, Bronze Long Jump
Richard Marian (Hvar) U/18 National Long Jump Champ 1999,U/20 All Schools Long Jump Champ 1999, Olympic Trials 2000 Long Jump -6th

Matthew Glucina (Makarska) National Championships 13’s 400m freestyle Bronze 1998, 14’s 100m Butterfly Bronze 1999 and 15’s 200m freestyle Bronze 2000
In Pacific School Games Sydney 2000 in 15’s division he won Silver in 200m freestyle, Bronze in 100m butterfly and Bronze in 200m freestyle.

Categorised as Sport