Box Hill United’s new senior men’s head coach Con Karagiannidis is looking forward to a fresh challenge at Wembley Park.
Karagiannidis, who completed his AFC/FFA ‘B’ and ‘C’ coaching licenses in 2015 and ‘A’ license in 2018, replaced Brian Vanega at the managerial hot seat earlier in October.
The 48-year-old helped Pascoe Vale SC to a fourth-place finish in the NPL last term as their senior assistant coach. He said this was an opportunity he could not let go, “I am very excited, it’s a club with a long and proud history. I am honoured to be given the opportunity to be the [senior men’s] head coach. I have been a long-time observer of Box Hill [United], living very close to the ground. They have always been renowned for playing a good, attractive brand of football, which sits well with my philosophy.”
The new coach was further impressed with United’s gritty display last season to stay afloat in the NPL2. He said, “They’ve shown some hunger and have got the determination to succeed. They showed that through the last few rounds they played and got some good results late in the year, but also through the conversations I have had with the players.”
Karagiannidis underlined the leadership of a core group of players as one of the reasons for this late push for survival. He singled out the quintet of Andrew Le Page, Adrian del Monaco, Ryan Go, Nicholas Kokolakis and Thomas Lakic, who have signed new contracts with the club for next season. The boss added, “They add value, quality to the football club and that’s why they are the players we have signed straight away. Most importantly, they are great characters. That is a key for us, to have great characters within the squad.”
Following the start of pre-season training, Karagiannidis highlighted his immediate objectives saying, “At this stage, [it is] to get to know each other, get to know the brand of football we want to play. Within that, start to build that winning mentality, winning with a style that players, coaches, members and supporters are excited to be part of”
He will be deputised by Michael Calandrella, with the pair having previously worked at Pascoe Vale. Karagiannidis said the latter will bring a lot of value in his role as assistant manager, “I have known Michael for a long time. It’s the confidence I have in him, knowing the quality of work he brings with him. Obviously, we have similar beliefs in football, and he’s someone that I really trust, and we trust each other. That is a key ingredient in having a great relationship within the coaching department.”