Twenty-year-old midfielder Nathan Konstandopoulos has been signed to a Brisbane Roar Hyundai A-League Scholarship for the upcoming 2016/17 season.
The talented young midfielder says it’s an honour to be given the opportunity to play alongside some of the Roar’s esteemed senior players and to line up in the Brisbane orange.
“I’m absolutely thrilled, it’s an honour to play for Brisbane Roar,” Konstandopoulos said.
“All the hard work has paid off and now it’s about working even harder to try and improve my game and get into the team.
“I’d love to be able to break into the first team squad and learn from players like Matt McKay and Thomas Kristensen.”
Brisbane Roar Football Director Craig Moore says it’s a terrific achievement for Konstandopoulos and says the challenge is for him to continue his development and strive for first-team game time.
“We have decided to take the new scholarship initiative from FFA for Nathan,” Moore said.
“He has worked incredibly hard and it allows us to expand on our eligible players for the Hyundai A-League. He does however, sit outside our playing roster.
“Nathan's challenge now is to push every day and work towards first team action.”
The Hyundai A-League Scholarship program allows clubs to sign up to six players from its Foxtel National Youth League roster on senior contracts.
Konstandopoulos says it’s great that there are numerous avenues for young players to reach their dreams of becoming professional footballers.
“It’s great to give the young boys an opportunity and it gives us something to work towards,” he said.
“The scholarship initiative provides young players a good opportunity and an incentive to strive to become A-league players.”
With two games of Hyundai A-League experience, Konstandopoulos played a strong part in the Young Roar’s midfield during the 2016 PS4 NPL QLD season and featured in the Roar’s Westfield FFA Cup clash with Perth Glory.
Originally from Adelaide, the young midfielder says that members of the entire Roar squad have made him feel welcome in the River City.
“All the boys have been incredible. They’ve invited me in and now I feel like I’ve come home,” he said.
“My teammates have been great in welcoming me to the club and helping me settle in Brisbane so quickly.
“It’s great to be in an environment that helps my football.”
Highly regarded as one to watch in the future of Australian football, the young midfielder displays versatility and has the ability to adapt to a number of positions across midfield.
As well as demonstrating talent on the pitch, the 20-year old is setting up his career off the park and is in the midst of a double degree in Business and Law.
“I’m looking towards maybe sports law and perhaps becoming an agent,” Konstandopoulos said
Football is the main priority and the Roar’s new number 16 says that there is a driving ambition to one day pull on the green and gold and represent Australia.
“In the short-term I’m focused on contributing at Brisbane Roar and looking to secure a starting spot in the Roar squad,” he said.
“The long-term goals are playing football in Europe, that’s the dream, and then the Socceroos. At the end of the day, that’s the biggest goal.”