Melbourne Victory Academy graduate, George Mihailidis, has signed for Austrian Bundesliga giants, Austria Vienna.
Mihailidis – who joined the Victory Academy in 2020 as a 14-year-old – played the last season in the NPL2 U21’s side before securing his move abroad to Europe after an extensive trial period in Austria.
The midfielder reflected on his time at Victory fondly, thanking all the coaches and staff who supported his journey at Victory.
“I’ve had an amazing time here at the Club. Everyone here has helped me at a football and personal level with my development and I’m excited for the next chapter in my journey,” Mihailidis said.
“The Club has supported me during the period where I trailed abroad and with some of my injury setbacks so I think the last couple of years being able to work with Pala (Joe Palatsides) and Roddy (Rodrigo Vargas) as well as the other coaches and to get to experience playing consistently against older players has helped me for opportunities like this.
“This is an exciting opportunity for me. One that will allow me to test myself against some of the best players across Europe and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Head of Academy, Joe Palatsides was also thrilled to be able to have players from Victory’s Academy catch the eye of European Clubs.
“We’re pleased for George and the exciting opportunity that he has in front of him and we couldn’t be prouder of his development as a footballer and as a person,” Palatsides said.
“There’s no greater pride we get as coaches in the Academy to see our products make their debut for the senior side but at the same time, we are just as proud to be able to create different pathways for players to become football citizens and fulfil their dream of being a professional footballer here at Victory or abroad.
“We’ve had a lot of success over the last couple of seasons seeing our Academy products head to overseas clubs and George is another example of that.
“We have a responsibility as coaches to create players who are ready to produce and show their abilities at a wide range of levels and the feedback we received was that our players consistently show they are up to those levels.
“George showed great character in the face of adversity over the past couple of seasons. That period taught him to be professional and diligent with his recovery and training and his return from the setback probably spoke to his mental strength and determination to prove himself when he went abroad.”
Source: Melbourne Victory