Eric Hristodoulou: “I want my players to entertain”
posted by on June 22, 2012
The world game has entertained many for decades, with football more than just a simple game but rather a lifestyle.
The desire to entertain is a significant aim for Eric Hristodoulou, a former footballer and current coach of the Sydney Olympic FC Under 13’s side. Hristodoulou is no stranger to the game or the ‘blue and white’ jersey, having made 42 appearances for Sydney Olympic FC. Hristodoulou was a proud member of the 1989/90 NSL Championship winning Sydney Olympic FC squad and an Australian U23 National representative.
Upon his retirement, Hristodoulou turned his attention to youth coaching and development at Grassroots level and endeavoured to enhance the standard of football in Australia.
” The transition from player to coach was quick, once I retired I began coaching players, including my boy [Adam] one on one”, Hristodoulou said.
However, he soon began to miss the team environment and opted to begin coaching development and competitive teams, such as, Sylvania Heights and the Sutherland Sharks.
” I definitely prefer a team environment as you can see the affect of your coaching come through and see the players improve week after week”, Hristodoulou explained.
Though the transition from player to coach was rapid, Hristodoulou admits that it was difficult to adjust and that he found himself frustrated at times.
” It was hard to adjust at first and it was frustrating at times, as you see things that you know should be done but are not executed how you would of liked or done yourself when you were a player.
” But it is easier said than done and it is much easier to see things from the sidelines. You truly respect the players more, because as a former player youself you know that it is not always easy on the football field “.
Hristodoulou is a passionate mentor who is often overhead shouting the word, SIMPLE to his side during training or from the sidelines and uses the principle of simplicity to encourage his side to perfect basic football skills and strengthen their awareness and understanding.
Like many avid football fans, Hristdoulou is captivated by attacking football and encourages his side to maintain possession and combine their defensive and attacking game in order to produce great results and more so, entertain.
“I love attacking football, I tell the boys to entertain their parents, friends and girlfriends. My philosophy is to get the boys to play quick, fluid football with pace.
“By promoting attacking football, players can reach new heights and shine”
Hristodoulou’s current squad the Sydney Olympic Under 13’s youth squad have certainly delivered thus far in the 2012 season, with a 10 game undefeated streak still intact. Hristodoulou warns his players to not get complacent and urges his squad to remain alert and on their toes, with no opponent to be underestimated.
” Complacency can be an issue especially since we have had a good run of 10 games. I remind my players that this means nothing unless you are developing as a footballer.
“I tell the boys that if they play the way I know they can and if they stick to the philosophy of playing attacking football, they will suceed and be where they want to be”.
Although, Hristodoulou is impressed with his side and full of praise, he admits that there is always room for improvement and hopes to see his side continue to entertain and impress.
” We are a good side and the boys have gelled so well, even though they came from so many different areas and associatiations.
“We still need to improve our finishing especially when we encounter teams who are positioned at the bottom of the table.
” We need to be more clinical with our finishing and let every opportunity count without complacency”, Hristodoulou concluded.
The sky is truly the limit for the talented Sydney Olympic FC side who long to entertain and develop as footballers.
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