Fresh from a successful 2009/10 campaign which yielded a Scottish Cup winners’ medal with his club Dundee United, Dusan Pernis was able to celebrate the icing on the cake when he was selected in Slovakia’s squad for South Africa. He may not be first choice between the posts, with coach Vladimir Weiss preferring Jan Mucha, but the tall (1.91 metres) and gifted goalkeeper will be ready to prove his worth if called upon.
Nicknamed ‘Pernik’ (‘Gingerbread’), he began his professional career as an 18-year-old with Dubnica. Initially consigned to the bench, his hard work and talent gradually earned him a starting berth and he helped the club take third spot in the league in 2004/05 – still their best ever finish. That earned him a move to domestic giants Zilina, but he found his route to the first team barred by Dusan Kuciak, likewise included in Slovakia’s initial 29-man long list.
A loan move to Senec followed in 2006 and he then rejoined his old side Dubnica in a similar arrangement, going on to shine for them once again. Zilina then decided to give him his chance and he contested 46 championship matches for the club, during which time he caught the eye of Weiss and was handed an international debut against Iceland in August 2009. He opted for a new adventure in Scotland at the turn of the year and clearly looks to have made the correct decision.