At The End Of The Day

Con Bout­sia­nis

Australian Four Four Two - - CONTENTS -


I knew I made it as a player when I played my first game at 17 for South Mel­bourne un­der Brian Gar­vey. There were three play­ers from the youth team in­clud­ing my­self that got picked to play for the last game of the sea­son against St Ge­orge. I don’t know if I can say I made it, but it was just an in­di­ca­tion we were be­ing looked at for the fu­ture of the club. I was hap­pi­est when I was play­ing. Gen­er­ally if I got a run, I was happy. When you’re younger, you don’t re­alise how im­por­tant the squad is to you. My he­roes grow­ing up were Ferenc Puskas, Al­fredo Di Ste­fano, Diego Maradona, Roberto Bag­gio and Michel Pla­tini. The rea­son why I knew these play­ers be­cause I watched SBS and Les Mur­ray. We didn’t have YouTube and FIFA grow­ing up where kids know play­ers around the world. We had to study and find out info about them. The fun­ni­est thing was when Ferenc Puskas ad­dressed us for the first time at South. We were re­ally ner­vous and he said, ‘Don’t worry about to­day, there’s noth­ing to worry about be­cause there can only be three re­sults – a win, a draw or a loss’ and he walked straight out, that was it. The day foot­ball broke my heart was when we lost the grand fi­nal to Wol­lon­gong Wolves in 2001. Back then they were a good team, look­ing back I didn’t mind that and they were bet­ter on the day. I think they were bet­ter and some­times a lot of peo­ple don’t ac­knowl­edge that. My proud­est mo­ment was some­thing I didn’t re­ceive that I felt a bit ag­grieved about, I tried to win the Play­ers’ Player of the Year for South Mel­bourne and I was ac­tu­ally in the top three play­ers of Aus­tralia that year when Micky Petersen was coach­ing. I got told I’d won and be­cause I was leav­ing to go to Auck­land, the club changed their mind. It was some­thing I re­ally wanted to achieve for South Mel­bourne, to be the best player con­sis­tently and I did a lot of train­ing for it. If I could change one thing most peo­ple think it’s money we need to de­velop play­ers, it’s not. It’s the cor­rect work over many years to de­velop play­ers and it needs to be done ear­lier. If it wasn’t for foot­ball I prob­a­bly would’ve gone into a dif­fer­ent sport. I was most pas­sion­ate about foot­ball, but I played most sports. Ten­nis, golf or even vol­ley­ball. As a teenager, I was one of the best vol­ley­ball play­ers in Aus­tralia at the time. Three words that sum me up sporty, an­a­lyt­i­cal and con­sis­tent. If you could have one wish it would be to win a World Cup. Right now I’ve been coach­ing for 17 years, so I’m more of a de­vel­op­ment spe­cial­ist. I’m coach­ing tech­ni­cal things, in­clud­ing kick­ing on both sides of the body and shoot­ing as­pects. I still do nor­mal coach­ing, but it’s not as im­por­tant as the other stuff.

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