Greek Australian footballer Jonathan Aspropotamitis has re-signed with Perth Glory after a successful spell with the Western Australian side on the back end of the 2020/21 season.
Initially signed for the club’s AFC Champions League campaign, his impressive performances earned him a contract for the duration of the 2020/21 A-League season.
Speaking to The Greek Herald, Aspropotamitis said he’s enjoyed his time in Perth and is looking forward to the season ahead.
“(I) came along steadily at the start of the season, the team was doing really well, we had a bit of a rough patch in the middle of the season and I think individually and collectively we can all learn a lot from that middle part of the year,” Aspropotamitis said.
“We ended it (the 2020/21 season) really well so from an individual perspective and from a collective perspective, I think we can take a lot from that back end and hopefully take it into next season.”
The 25-year-old has proceeded to chalk up 18 appearances, taking his career tally past the 80-mark.
The Greek Australian played only 9 matches for Western United before moving across the country. While applauding the brilliant culture and identity of the Melbourne side, Aspropotamitis said he’s been enjoying the extra playing time at Glory.
“I think it always helps when you’re able to play games and start games, for anyone’s development,” Aspropotamitis added.
“I think a big thing in Australian football at the moment is players getting minutes and players getting starts at different teams and how that affects their development.
“I was at Western United the season before and unfortunately I didn’t get to play too much and so this has been a real breath of fresh air.”
Guidance under Garcia
Richard Garcia was appointed Perth Glory’s new Head Coach in September 2020, taking over from Tony Popovic who went to play in Greece for Super League II side Xanthi FC.
Despite many questioning his coaching abilities after suffering repeated season losses, Garcia managed to turn the team around in the back half of the season.
“I love working under the Richie, it’s been fantastic. He’s really come in as a person who coaches with a lot of energy and a lot of fresh ideas as well,” Aspropotamitis said to The Greek Herald.
“I think you could see it towards the back end of the year that we were really grasping those concepts and putting them into place and putting proof in the pudding in those results.”
“From an individual perspective, he’s come in with some new ideas and new perspectives on different things and how I can better myself on and off the pitch.
“And just more about enjoying my football and being more free to play and having the confidence to do everything that you want to do, rather than being restricted in doing so.”
Aspropotamitis concluded by expressing Perth’s drive to finish in a top four position next season and earn a home final.
‘Proud’ Greek heritage
Aspropotamitis was raised in the diverse Sydney Greek community and it “goes without saying” that he has a proud Greek heritage.
“Both sides of my grandparents immigrated to Australia in their late teens,” Jonathan said to The Greek Herald previously.
“They made sacrifices to come to Australia and it’s something I guess none of us will ever understand, unless we do it ourselves.
“I really take a lot from that every day, in everything I do, because something that’s something we really take for granted; The things they did for us, without them knowing many years ago that it laid the foundations for us that we live right now.
“I don’t hide my expression in being proud to be Greek.”