||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
Pondeljak playing for Melbourne Victory in 2010
|Full name||Tomislav Pondeljak|
|Date of birth||8 January 1976|
|Place of birth||Melbourne, Australia|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking Midfielder|
|2005–2008||Central Coast Mariners||55||(7)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 October 2013.
Pondeljak started his career in the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) before playing for St. Albans, making 62 appearances in his 2½-year spell at the lower league Victorian club. He was then brought into the National Soccer League (NSL) by the Melbourne Knights and helped them to victory during the 1995–96 NSL season. After playing another 3½ years and a total of 97 appearances for the Melbourne club, he moved to Sydney United.
Not much success was had in his two years at the club, and Pondeljak eventually moved to cross town rivals Sydney Olympic, where he won his second NSL title. He then moved on to Perth Glory, where he won his third NSL title. Following the collapse of the NSL at the end of the 2003/04 season, he went to Malaysia and played for Johor FC.
When the A-League was formed, Pondeljak was being chased by a number of teams including Sydney FC, Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and his hometown team Melbourne Victory but it was the Central Coast Mariners who made the best offer and he accepted that offer, becoming one of the marquee signings for the Mariners.
The 2005/06 season was not the best for Pondeljak as he was injured for about two months with a fractured and dislocated wrist. He did however produce one of the goals of the season against Sydney FC. He ran into the penalty area, turned three Sydney FC players and slotted the ball past the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Clint Bolton. He scored the only goal of the Preliminary Final against Adelaide United to send the Central Coast Mariners into the Grand Final.
On 27 February 2008, Pondeljak signed a two-year contract with Melbourne Victory.
Pondeljak was promoted to Victory’s starting 11 following his debut against South Korea’s Chunnam Dragons and proved his worth on four minutes with a cracking shot from outside the penalty area that gave the visitors a perfect start.
On 28 January 2009, Pondeljak started for Australia in their Asian Cup qualifying match against Indonesia, which was Pondeljak's first international appearance in seven years, and added to the four caps he had earned back in 2002.
A month later, on 28 February 2009, Pondeljak scored what proved to be the winning goal in Melbourne Victory's 1–0 triumph over arch-rivals Adelaide United in the A-League Grand Final. He was later substituted for teammate Grant Brebner and was awarded the Joe Marston Medal for man of the match.
A-League career statistics
(Correct as of 5 February 2010)
|Central Coast Mariners||2005–06||15||2||6||3||0||0||-||-||-||18||2||6|
National team statistics
|Australia national team|
With Melbourne Victory:
With Central Coast Mariners:
With Perth Glory:
- NSL Championship: 2003-2004
With Sydney Olympic:
- NSL Championship: 2001-2002
With Melbourne Knights:
- NSL Championship: 1995-1996
- Tom Pondeljak at National-Football-Teams.com