Adelaide saviour Stamatelopoulos thankful for Hyundai A-League chance
Adelaide United teenager Apostolos Stamatelopoulos thanked coach Marco Kurz for helping realise his dreams after scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Western Sydney.
The 18-year-old came off the bench to fire home a loose ball in the 86th minute and earn the visitors a valuable point at ANZ Stadium.
Stamatelopoulos' maiden goal, which was teed up by fellow youth team product Ryan Strain, came in his fourth appearance of the season and the forward is relishing the exposure to senior competition.
"I've been playing football all my life and to score my first goal for my hometown team is great. I love it," Stamatelopoulos told Fox Sports.
"[Kurz] is a great coach. For him to pick me to get a scholarship and train with the first team boys every day is an honour.
"I'm making the most of it."
Fellow youngsters Ben Warland, Jordan O'Doherty and Mark Ochieng were also given chances to impress in the absence of stars Johan Absalonsen and Daniel Adlung.
While admitting Stamatelopoulos' close-range strike was hardly a difficult chance, Kurz described it as further evidence of the emerging talent at his disposal.
"It was not so complicated to score from that position," the Reds boss smiled.
"It's good for the boy. We know about the qualities of the young boys and every game it's good for them to adapt."