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This week we catch up with a player whose had a taste of what football can be like at the top level in this country after a brief stint in the Brisbane Roar youth system. He still wears orange at his current club, learn more about Eastern Suburbs’s Costa Psaros.
QSN: How were you introduced to the game and what was your first junior club?
CP: I was introduced to football by my parents and actually started playing at my first junior club in Tamworth NSW when I was five years old. My family moved to Brisbane when I was six and my first junior club in Brisbane was Souths United. From then on I’ve been playing ever since and am very grateful that I started playing at such an early age
QSN: Tell us about your football playing history.
CP: I spent a lot of my junior years at Souths United and then went and played for Rochedale when I was ten. I spent two or three years there and went back to Souths for a season. I then returned to Rochedale when the elite Junior Premier League competition was formed and had a good few seasons there.
When I was 17, I went to Olympic and had a season under my current coach Steve Glockner where I was fortunate enough to make a handful of first team appearances before getting a trial with the Roar Youth. I spent a season in the National Youth League and NPL with there which was a great experience, before returning to Olympic at the start of 2015 and now Easts mid-way through last year.
QSN: What opportunities has football given you?
CP: Football has given me the opportunity to meet some great people and has provided me with many lifelong friendships and some fantastic experiences. Football has also given me the opportunity to travel all around Australia playing football through schoolboys trips as well as in the NYL. My greatest memories and some of the best experiences in my life have all come through football. My life would be pretty boring without it (laughs).
QSN: Your greatest individual and team moments in football are?
CP: My greatest individual achievement would have to be spending 18 months in the Roar Youth system. That timechanged my whole perception on football and gave me a taste of what it takes to play at the top level in Australia. There’s no standout team moment but I’ve been lucky enough to play in successful teams all throughout my junior years.
QSN: You have been a consistent performer with Eastern Suburbs this season. What do you attribute your good form to this season?
CP: I think being injury free up until now has played a big part. Also the fact that I get along well with the boys in the team and also with Steve (Glockner) and the coaching staff who have given me more opportunity to play well through getting consistent game time and to gain in confidence week by week.
QSN: You were a member with Brisbane Roar Youth and played in the NPL Queensland with Olympic FC. Tell us how your time with the Tigers has improved you as a footballer?
CP: I joined Easts halfway through last season as I felt as though joining Easts would be best for my development. I knew Steve quite well from my time at Olympic and since teaming up with him again I feel as though it has improved me as a footballer.
Knowing that Steve has belief in me and that he gives me freedom to play an attacking brand of football has also played a major part in my development. Moving to Easts has also given me the opportunity to get consistent game time week to week in senior football, something that I was needing to improve my game.
QSN: What are your personal goals for the remainder of 2016?
CP: My personal goals would be to stay injury free and to keep bettering my performances each week for the team. As a team it has been an up and down season so far in terms of results and player movements but I feel as though we still have a lot to give and are improving week to week.
QSN: What are your long term aspirations?
CP: I like to take things one year at a time and to improve as much as I can each year. If that ends up leading to bigger and better things then that’d be great but if not then I’d like to be able to play at the highest level that I can for as long as I can.
QSN: Who is the best player you have played with or against in your career?
CP: I’ve been lucky enough to play and train with some great players so far in my career. One of the best though would have to be Kazuya Ito from when I was at Olympic FC. His touch, balance and composure on the ball is probably the best I’ve seen. He could definitely play in the A-League.
One of the toughest games that I’ve had in senior football was a couple of years ago when I was given the task to mark Nico Bechar from Redlands. He is definitely one of the most skilful players I’ve ever played against and could definitely also play at a higher level.
QSN: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
CP: I don’t have any particular superstitions or rituals however on the day of a game I like to just relax and make sure I have good meals at the right times to give myself every opportunity to play well.
QSN: What was your most embarrassing moment on the football pitch?
CP: Probably when I was 15 when I was sent off playing for Metropolitan East in the final at the Queensland Schoolboy tournament in Cairns. The game was in extra time and the drop off rule was in play, so every two minutes a player from each team was taken off the field. When it was 6 v 6, I received a second yellow and got sent off and the game was then abandoned because my team couldn’t field enough players. This was definitely the strangest and most embarrassing moment that I’ve experienced on the football pitch.
QSN: Time for 5 rapid fire questions! Your favourite drink, music, food, football idol and which football club do you support?
CP: Powerade, Rap, Mums Cooking, Tim Cahill, Everton & St George Willawong
QSN: Who is your most influential coach or main football influence and why?
CP: My main football influence would have to be my father. He’s always telling me ways to improve and has provided me every opportunity to succeed in football. He’s never been shy to tell me when I haven’t played well which is probably a good thing because it has made me work harder and expect a high standard from myself.
QSN: What do you do with yourself away from the football pitch?
CP: I’m currently studying a bachelor of business and sports management at Griffith University. This takes up a fair bit of my time along with having a part-time job in after school care. In my spare time I like to hang out with mates and I also don’t mind the odd game of poker.
QSN: If you weren’t a footballer, what other sport would you play?
CP: I love to watch most sports but I find AFL particularly interesting and would have loved to play it growing up.
Thanks Costa for joining us and best wishes for the rest of the season at Easts. The equation is simple for Easts to make the post-season final four, they just need to keep winning and their next assignment in that quest is an away trip to UQFC on Sunday evening. Kickoff is at 6pm at UQFC Oval 7.
Name: Costa Psaros
Nationality : Australian/Greek
Age : 20
Height : 180cm
Preferred Position/s: Central Attacking Midfield, Winger