Peter Triantis has gone through a lot to get where he is right now, and while he's impressed Frank Farina, he'd rather show his younger siblings anything is possible.
Emerging Sky Blues defensive midfielder Peter Triantis has impressed plenty in his opening stretch of games in the Hyundai A-League, taking on some big roles that have included going toe-to-toe with the likes of Tom Rogic and Dario Vidosic.
It-s certainly not an easy role for a rookie, and even if he is known to his teammates as “The Burglar” - though not for any off field or golfing indiscretions - rather for his ability to pick an opponent-s pocket, it-s fair to say he has thus far exceeded expectations in a struggling side.
Triantis, perhaps made wise beyond his 20 years as a result of two tough years that saw him deal with serious injury and personal tragedy, is taking it all in his stride and says, albeit with a smile that he hasn-t really been nervous yet, even when he was on debut.
“There weren-t many nerves when I got the call-up, which I was pretty surprised about,” Triantis recalls.
“It was more general excitement and I just wanted to get out there and start playing. There was so much hard work down the years into that moment and now I have to keep going because it-s only really the start.”
It-s a start that has seen him hailed quickly for his defensive skills, but Triantis is adamant that he is only doing what coach Frank Farina has asked of him and the whole team, which is to give everything and play tough. But he also admits the step up from Youth league and state league has at times been hard to deal with.
“I have been asked to play tight. In that central role you can-t really give them space and you have to close them down, I-m just doing what the coach tells me to do and that is my role,” Triantis said.
“Coming from the state league I-m OK with the physicality, but the technical skills are a lot higher, players are a lot better with the ball and without the ball, just all round it-s the entire game is a lot better.”
Certainly Triantis-s rapid rise has served as an example to others in the NYL ranks that a rise like his, or teammate Joel Chianese last season, is possible, but he is more concerned about being a leader for those in his family who want a career in football.
One of 10 children, five of whom were at Sydney Olympic last season, Triantis likes to set an example for them and admits he-s always aware of their presence at the ground in support of him.
“I always look up and find them in the crowd, they-re always there,” he said.
“I-m one of the older ones. Tthere are five of us who were at Olympic last year, so they all look up to me and they all come to every game; I-m so happy just to make them proud and give them a pathway to see it-s possible for them as well.”
While Triantis-s performances have been great to watch and his one of the true feel-good stories of the season, it might be for naught if the Sky Blues don-t start getting some wins on the board, with the glamour club propping up the A-League ladder.
Triantis and his teammates have earmarked their upcoming back-to-back games against Melbourne Heart and Wellington as do-or-die as far as their season is concerned, but Triantis says there is rising confidences after their 2-2 draw away to Perth.
“Regardless of who we play; at home we must win. If we are to make finals we have to get six points in these two games,” he said.
“Frank has drummed it home to us that playing at home we must win, especially this weekend. Getting off the bottom of the table is a priority and we are playing teams around us over the next two weeks, so they are six pointers, as they say.”