When Melbourne City recruited Mark Birighitti few expected he would be behind Eugene Galekovic in the pecking order.

Galekovic, 37, has not looked back since getting the nod ahead of the former Newcastle Jets goalkeeper in the opening round – establishing himself as one of the league’s best goalkeepers.

While both goalkeepers could walk into any A-League team as the number one goalkeeper – Galekovic says the competitive rivalry between the pair has improved both of their abilities.

“It’s been great to have worked with so many good keepers Dean (Bouzanis) was here now Birighitti has come in,” Galekovic said.

“It’s always great having someone push you it means you always have to be improving to keep your spot.

“There is that added pressure not just in games but at training that if you make consecutive mistakes your spot could be in jeopardy.”

Galekovic will line-up against his first A-League club, Melbourne Victory, when the two sides meet in the third Melbourne Derby for this season.

City are currently undefeated against Victory this season but are without a win in four games.

Galekovic says the Derby is a good opportunity for City to turn their season around and consolidate their position inside the top six.   

“They’re always big games to play in – every player thrives on this opportunity,” Galekovic said.

“Our form in the last few weeks hasn’t been great, so this is a great game to get some momentum back.

“We’ve had a few discussions early about rectifying a few things from last week’s loss, it was a game we did not deserve anything from.

But the rest of the week has been about how we’re going to trouble Victory and considering our recent form the importance of this game increases”

Galekovic has made 31 appearances for Melbourne City and has won a Championship and Premiership at Melbourne Victory.

Nick D’Urbano