Saturday, December 1, 2018

Vale Michael Furjanic (1 November 1936 - 29 November 2018)

 Photo:  Michael (Michael The Tailor) Furjanic [PlessPix]

Michael Furjanic, a former president of Glenorchy Knights, formerly known as Croatia-Glenorchy, has passed away in Hobart aged 82.

Furjanic, who was a founding member of Croatia-Glenorchy after arriving in Tasmania from Europe in the late 1950s, also played for the club in the late 1950s and 1960s.

He was also a patron of the club and a life member.
Photo:  Michael Furjanic (extreme left of back row) in a Croatia-Glenorchy reserve side at South Hobart in 1966 [PlessPix]

Furjanic was known nationally and internationally because of his involvement with the annual Croatian Soccer Tournament held in Australia for the past 44 years.

This year’s tournament was held on the Gold Coast, but Hobart hosted the series in the early 1980s.

In conjunction with this annual football tournament, he also inaugurated a Miss Croatia Australia pageant.

He was a founder of the Croatian Soccer Association of Australia (CSAA) in 1974 and was president of the organisation for 15 consecutive years.

Furjanic was a mover and shaker in Tasmanian football and, a tailor by trade, he sponsored the Michael The Tailor Cup, a pre-season tournament for 12 years.

Photo:  Michael Furjanic hands the Michael The Tailor Cup to Hobart City's Luigi Sorghi at South Hobart [PlessPix]

He was made President for Life of CSAA in 1989 and was inducted into the CSAA Hall of Fame in 2015.

He was awarded an OAM in 2001 for his contribution to the Croatian community in Tasmania.

Furjanic was instrumental in bringing leading North American side Toronto Metros Croatia to Tasmania in 1976.

They played a Southern Tasmanian representative side, coached by Denis Ford, at Grove Road.  Current Hobart Zebras coach, David Smith, made his representative debut in this game and played as a central defender due to Dudley Hall being injured.

Furjanic had organised tours of Canada and the USA by Australian Croatian teams and the contacts he had made led to the Tasmanian visit by Toronto Metros Croatia.
 Photo:  Michael Furjanic (right) welcomes Croatia-Glenorchy's new coach from New South Wales, Harry Noon, in the 1980s [PlessPix]

His sons Paul and Robert both played for Croatia-Glenorchy.

He is survived by his wife, Suellen, sons Paul and Robert and daughter Anita.

Photo:  Michael Furjanic with daughter Anita and grandson in a Glenorchy Knights junior team strip [PlessPix]

Photo:  Michael Furjanic (rear) with a Glenorchy Knights junior side and coaches Matthew Rhodes (left) and Alex Woodham [PlessPix]

Photo:  Michael Furjanic (left) with Glenorchy Knights stalwart and fellow Life Member Ivan Stefanovic [PlessPix]

Photo:  Michael Furjanic (centre) presents the Michael The Tailor Cup to Hobart Juventus skipper Robbie Kent (left) as Soccer Tasmania chairman David Wallace hols the winners' medals [PlessPix]

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