Chris Zoricich

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

Chris Zoricich

Appearances: 12+1 Goals: 0

Date / Year of birth: 3rd May 1969

Position: Centre-back

Season of first appearance: 2003/04

Season of last appearance: 2003/04

Also played for: Papatoetoe (New Zealand), AFC Bournemouth (0), Gillingham (0), Cambridge United (0), Sabah (Malaysia), Leyton Orient (61+14,1), Newcastle United (0), Windsor & Eton, St.Albans City, Central (New Zealand), Brisbane Strikers (Australia), Doncaster Rovers (0), Welling United, Chelsea (0), Sydney Olympic (Australia), Newcastle United (Australia), Boreham Wood, Harlow Town, Heybridge Swifts and Wealdstone

5' 11" tall defender born in Auckland, New Zealand who started his career with Auckland-based club Papatoetoe (New Zealand) in 1986. Chris spent two seasons there and on 27.3.88 he made his international debut for New Zealand in a game against Israel.

Early in 1989 Chris moved to England and had trials with various Football League clubs during the closing months of the 1988/89 campaign. He played once for Bournemouth's reserves and also had a spell at Gillingham before featuring at left-back for Cambridge United as they beat St.Ives 5-0 in the Hunts Premier Cup Final at the end of the season.

Chris later played for Malaysian club Sabah before returning to England in February 1990. He was signed by Leyton Orient under a scheme known as a 'Commonwealth Scholarship' and after a lengthy spell in the reserves Chris made his first team debut in a 1-0 defeat at Cambridge United on 2.10.90. He went on to make over 30 senior appearances before the end of the 1990/91 season and also had a trial with Newcastle in December 1990. Chris played once for the reserves - in a 2-0 win over Leicester Reserves - before returning to Orient.

During 1991/92 Chris featured in 22 Football League games for the O's and he stayed with the club for the 1992/93 campaign too.

On 25.7.92 he was part of the Orient side that won 3-2 in a friendly against Margate at Hartsdown Park and on 15.8.92 Chris scored what turned out to be his only goal for Orient in a 3-2 win over Brighton at Brisbane Road. By the end of the 1992/93 campaign he'd made a total of 75 first team appearances (14 as sub) but Chris then had to give up professional football due to work permit problems. He was released by Orient and a group of their supporters protested about Chris' situation outside the Home Office in London. During his time with the O's Chris had added three caps to his tally for New Zealand.

Despite his problems with the Home Office Chris was still able to play non-league football in England and he joined Isthmian League Onest Division club Windsor & Eton for the start of the 1993/94 season.

In November 1993 he moved on to St.Albans who played in the Premier Division of the Isthmian League and Chris went on to make 18 appearances there before the end of the 1993/94 campaign. He scored once.

Later in 1994 Chris returned home to New Zealand and had a short spell with Auckland club Central before moving to Australia to join Brisbane Strikers for the 1994/95 National Soccer League season.

He scored six goals in 51 games for Brisbane during 1994/95 and 1995/96 before trying his luck in England again.

At the start of the 1996/97 season Chris had a trial spell with Doncaster and then joined Conference club Welling. He played for them in a 3-2 home win over Slough on 10.9.96 but didn't feature for the Wings again.

Later in the 1996/97 campaign Chris had an extended trial with Chelsea who were managed by Ruud Gullit at the time. He played in nine reserve team matches but wasn't given a contract and returned to Brisbane for the start of the 1997/98 season.

Chris made a further 42 appearances for Brisbane and scored twice more during 1997/98 and 1998/99 before moving on to Sydney Olympic in the summer of 1999.

He played in 25 National Soccer League games for Sydney during 1999/00 without scoring and then signed for Newcastle of New South Wales ahead of the 2000/01 campaign.

Chris spent three seasons with Newcastle and made 50 appearances in the National Soccer League before leaving the club at the end of 2002/03. His London-born wife was homesick so Chris opted to return to England.

In June 2003 he finished his international career when he captained New Zealand in the Confederations Cup tournament in France. Chris played as the Kiwis lost 5-0 to the host nation whose scorers included Thierry Henry and Robert Pires. By the end of the competition Chris had won 57 full caps for New Zealand, scoring once, and played in a total of 77 matches at all levels for his country. He'd previously captained the side throughout the qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup and had also led them in the 1999 Confederations Cup in Mexico.

At the start of July 2003 Chris had a short trial with Mansfield before contacting Margate manager Chris Kinnear to ask whether he could try out for the club. Chris featured in several of Margate's pre-season friendlies and the Thanet Times said he "oozed class" in a 3-0 win at Welling on 26.7.03. The club were keen to sign him in time for the start of the 2003/04 campaign but Chris had to wait for international clearance.

The paperwork was eventually sorted out at the end of August 2003 and Margate's chairman Jim Parmenter said "Chris is a quality player, full international and captain of his country - his experience will be a great asset to us." Chris Kinnear told the Non-League Paper "He got in touch with us by chance and we weren't really able to offer him the sort of money he's worth. But he has fixed himself up with a job teaching for three days a week and accepted what we can afford."

Chris made his debut in a sweeping role as Margate lost 2-1 to Chester in a Conference game played at Dover on 6.9.03 and became the first player with a surname starting with the letter 'Z' ever to appear for the club. For the next two months Chris was a regular in the side and the Thanet Times said he "brilliantly marshalled" the defence in a 1-0 win at Halifax on 20.9.03. On 23.9.03 his error led to the only goal as Margate lost 1-0 to Barnet at Dover but the Isle of Thanet Gazette said Chris was "otherwise excellent" at sweeper and by then he was keeping long-serving Bill Edwards out of the side.

The Thanet Times said Chris was "assured again at sweeper" in a 3-1 win over Northwich at Dover on 27.9.03 and he also started the next five games before being dropped to the subs bench following a 3-3 draw at Grays in the FA Cup on 25.10.03. He came on in the replay against Grays at Ashford on 28.10.03 as Margate lost on penalties after another 3-3 draw and Chris was then restored to the starting line-up for a 3-3 draw at Morecambe on 1.11.03. He scored an own goal and suffered a rib injury as Margate lost 2-1 to Woking at Dover on 11.11.03 and that turned out to be Chris' final outing. Bill Edwards took over at sweeper from then on and after a few weeks out of the side Chris left the club in January 2004. He joined his old club St.Albans having made 13 appearances (one as sub) without scoring for Margate. Chris Kinnear told the Isle of Thanet Gazette "He'd probably prefer to play closer to where he lives, and it hasn't really worked out. He's found it quite hard physically in the Conference."

Chris went on to make 19 appearances (one as sub) for St.Albans in the Isthmian League Premier Division before the end of the 2003/04 season and on 5.5.04 he was sent off in a 4-3 win at Heybridge.

He played regularly during the first half of the 2004/05 campaign - St.Albans' first in the new Conference South - but Chris lost his place towards the end of 2004 and at the start of January 2005 he was loaned to Boreham Wood.

He returned to St.Albans at the end of January 2005 and Chris then played a few more games before the end of the 2004/05 season. In all he made 27 appearances (three as sub) and scored once.

In the summer of 2005 Chris moved on to Harlow and scored on his debut as they won 2-1 at Enfield Town on 13.8.05.

In November 2005 he joined Heybridge and made a handful of appearances there before being released in December 2005.

Chris then signed for Wealdstone and made 18 Isthmian League appearances before the end of the 2005/06 campaign, scoring once. After playing in five more league games at the start of 2006/07 Chris retired towards the end of 2006 aged 37.

In 2009 he was running a chauffeur car company in the London area but Chris returned to New Zealand in 2010 and became assistant coach of Central United, the Auckland club he'd played for in 1994 when they were just known as Central.

By 2012 Chris was head coach of the Auckland Grammar School Academy which was run by a company called Kaizen Football.

Chris had a degree in Economics and Accounting and his brother Michael was a talented tennis player who represented New Zealand in the Davis Cup. Michael also played football for Central as did Chris' father Ivan.










2003/04 (MFC)

12 (51)







     Margate demoted to new Conference South due to ground issues.