INTERVIEW: Welcome point – Thomas Podaridis

 

Box Hill United’s senior men drew 1-1 against an experienced Langwarrin SC, and versatile defender Thomas Podaridis described the result as a ‘welcome point’ to build towards better things.

 

Saturday’s fixture at Wembley Park saw Box Hill stop a six-game losing slump, where Javier Marangos’ crafty solo finish from the right flank was negated by Langwarrin’s Maximillian Etheridge.

 

Reviewing the match-up, Podaridis said, “It is a welcome point for us. We probably should have won the game as well. The boys played well. In terms of playing, we are dominating every game.

 

“But it’s unfortunate that we could not keep our heads going for 90 minutes. We switched off for one second and the other team capitalised on us.

 

“We are getting there. We know what we have to do. If we get things right soon, things will turn around for us.”

 

Describing the challenge the visitors had posed, the 23-year-old added, “Langwarrin brought in that intensity [and physicality] that we don’t have yet, because we have got a lot of younger boys.

 

“[Their] team had a bit more experience than us, and they tried to lift it on the park. They powered home the last 15-20 minutes, when they scored their goal.”

 

Podaridis arrived midway through 2019 to Wembley Park and made his debut in a 2-1 win against Whittlesea Ranges, having previously plied his trade with Oakleigh Cannons and Melbourne Knights.

 

He has impressed in new club colours at both centre-back and left-back, displaying his prowess as a ball-playing defender who does not shy away from darting down the channels with gusto.

 

 

Pleased with his progress alongside his new teammates, Podaridis said, “Settling in has been great. I have started [a few] games, and I am trying to find my way into the team.

 

“The boys are a great bunch of lads. They welcomed me from the start, and [it’s a] great club. Everyone here has made me feel a millions bucks…I just want to win, that’s why they have brought me here.”

 

The left-footed defender previously earned valuable European experience, training with Watford U/21s under the tutelage of Socceroo legend Harry Kewell, and featuring for APOEL in Greece.

 

Podaridis, who idolises England international John Stones, explained how the varied experiences have shaped his personality as a footballer.

 

“Living overseas is quite hard on your own. At the end of the day, I learnt how to grow up. It does mould you as a different person,” he said. “It taught me how to be humble, and [how] to be a team-player. If you are playing well and your teammates are not, then it’s no point.

 

“The whole collective, if everyone’s playing well, everyone’s on good terms and there is good competition in training, then for me there’s nothing better than that.”

 

Second image courtesy: Elena Santopietro Photography

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