With the new PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 2 season commencing this weekend, one of many looking to be in the thick of the action once more, is Peter Vassilis, again wearing the red and white of St George FC.
The 30 year old, who had a year out of the game in 2015, is raring to go, having returned to the club he last played for in 2011, after a three year stint with Bankstown City.
Vassilis’ enthusiasm for the year ahead is unlimited, the twelve months away helping to fuel his desire for a successful year.
“I had a year off last year, getting married and doing a bit of travelling, and so I can’t wait for the new season to start. Our preseason has been good, training has been fantastic, and even some of us older players have been doing our own extra training,” Vassilis states.
“And I feel that this is the most anticipated season to date, even more so perhaps than the Playstation 4 NPL top tier men’s, what with the two A-League sides having their youth teams in. There seems a lot more hype around the league and add in the FFA Cup, which has established itself, two well established A-League teams in Sydney, and it really feels like the code is on a winner. Who knows, maybe some of The Cove or RBB fans will come to some of the games, which would be brilliant”.
Previously a midfielder, Vassilis looks likely to be a regular in the back four, a position he moved into at the Lions.
“Yes, I used to be a midfielder, when last at Saints” he says, “but when I was at Bankstown City, George [Nohra] thought that I could add a bit more value at the back. We trialled it a couple of times and it worked”, he laughs.
The last game Vassilis played for with the Saints was the elimination final against Bankstown Berries a little over four years ago, when an injury time goal eliminated the Saints from the 2011 finals. The only other players from the Saints line-up that day, again at the club, are current co-coach Ivo de Jesus, and Reuben Lagos, who has also made a move back from Jensen Park.
When asked how different it was to now having de Jesus as a coach, rather than a teammate, Vassilis was quick to respond.
“Ivo has been fantastic, and he works really well with Nass [Martino, co-coach]. He has been there, done that of course, and he is very technical and very strategic. When playing with him in the same team, I didn’t realise how detailed he was, both on and off the pitch. It has definitely made us feel positive about the season ahead”.
It was a poor year by St George standards in 2015, the club having to regroup after its relegation from Play Station 4 NPL 1 the year before, but Vassilis remains confident that this year will be much improved.
“We have been experimenting during preseason”, he continues, “and when we have focused on our structure, it has really worked. I’m confident that the club will have a much better season, and really, I can’t wait for it to start”.
How much better the season will be for St George remains to be seen, but if the attitude of Peter Vassilis is any guide, it certainly won’t lack for enthusiasm.
Source FNSW -By Peter Rowney