Goran Karacic 20 Goalkeeper Adanaspor Bosnia and Herzegovina
Towering Mostar-born junior goalkeeper who attracted widespread attention following an outstanding debut season in the Premier league of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The youngest of three sporting brothers (Igor and Ivan are professional handball players), Goran Karačić made his debut for HŠK Zrinjski Mostar at the start of the 2015/16 season.
Stepping in to replace the recently departed veteran Ratko Dujkovic, who had left for Saipa FC in the Persian Gulf Pro League, Karačić’s only previous first team experience had been on bench-warming duties and only then on a handful of occasions. After a disappointing season in which Plemići had finished third in the title race to eventual winners FK Sarajevo, Vinko Marinović took over as coach and immediately promoted the lofty teenager to first choice goalkeeper. His confidence in the youngster would be immediately rewarded, as Karačić oversaw an incredible eight match run without conceding a goal. Indeed his sum total of shutouts lasted an impressive 743 minutes, an angled effort from Ugljesa Radinovic setting FK Borac Banja Luka up to inflict Mostar’s first defeat of the season.
2016 has been...
An ascendancy. Right now we fancy that Karačić is one of the best kept secrets in goalkeeping across Europe. We say secret as his rise has been steady and consistent, but is happening well below the radar. As the season closed, Mostar delivered their second league title in three years, seeing off the challenge of Sloboda Tuzla by a comfortable seven points.
While central defender Daniel Graovac stood out, and a strong defensive spine meant that Mostar were, by some distance, the best equipped team in the division, credit must go to Karačić for a quite remarkable debut season. In 24 matches the young custodian only conceded twelve times, delivering a staggering 17 clean sheets in the process.
The inevitable transfer did happen in the summer, but not the sort of move you may have expected. With the smart money indicating a move elsewhere within Eastern Europe, Karačić signed on for newly promoted Adanaspor ready for their first season in the Turkish Super Lig for twelve years.
So far, things are not going too badly for Karačić with his new employers. Admittedly, the Adana club are struggling in the league, as was always likely for a newly promoted side, but they haven’t been cut adrift and could easily move up the table with a couple of good results. For his part, Karačić has played in all but two games, only an injury which kept him out for one match breaking his run. Clean sheets have been harder to come by in Turkey, but he has only conceded nine goals this season; his side having one of the better defensive records in the table so far.
Called up for international duty in May, only to pick up an injury that ruled him out of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s trip to Japan for the Kirin Cup – a tournament his country went on to win – Karačić is yet to make his full international debut, but has represented Bosnia & Herzegovina at several junior levels. This may yet turn out to be a moot point as Karačić could still turn out for Croatia, an option that one of his brothers has already selected in the handball arena.
This is likely to be a season of struggle for Adanaspor but Karačić is playing every week and gaining the experience he needs to move further up in the game. A recent poll conducted on the club’s fans identified the widely experienced former Sampdoria winger Vladimir Koman as Adanaspor’s player of the season so far, but Karačić was just behind in second place.
C+ A very talented individual that you will hear a lot more of in future
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