By Takis Triadafillou.
Stratos Tzanakis will lead the Eastern Suburbs Hakoah Futsal Club at the Under-21 Club Championship in Paranaguá, Brazil.
The championship takes place from May 16 – 23 and will feature 15 clubs from around the world, including top teams from Spain, Brazil and Argentina.
The Hakoah Futsal Club from Sydney, which includes seven young Greek Australians, flew to Brazil this week for training.
Stratos, originally from Crete, was a football player who played in the NSW State championships and has now become a futsal coach for the Hakoah team, as well as the head coach at Sydney Grammar School.
“Our participation is very important for our club and also for the footballers participating in this event. Of course the teams we have drawn are very strong and experienced, but this will generally give us a lot of experience,” Stratos told The Greek Herald.
“We will play three friendly games before starting our official duties. There is optimism from all of us. Going on to be invited to the FIFA Futsal World Cup is an amazing honour for the club and I hope we do Hakoah, Maccabi and Australia proud.
“This will be a highlight in the careers of indoor players, and will really allow our children to experience playing against the best in the world. We hope they come back really excited.”
Hakoah Futsal Club Chairman, Daniel Sharp, said: “Our team is led by 20-year-old Noah Felich, one of our current men’s goalkeepers, who has been playing with the club since he was 12 years old.”
“In preparation for this event, Noah has been training under the best indoor goalkeeping coach in Australia, Peter Spathi,” Mr Sharp added.
“Peter reports that Noah has improved massively over the past seven months and should be on the cusp of making his debut for the Australian men’s national team, the Futsalroos.”
- Coach: Stratos Tzanakis
- Assistant coach: Nick Rathjen
- Players: Emmanuel Tzanakes, Samuel Tzanakes, Yanni Plataniotis, George Papadakis, Vas Kartambis, Jonathon Lynch, Sasha Chilas, Noah Felich, Adam Paulsen, Alessandro Da Silva, Obina da Silva, Connor Crews, Massi Macauliffe, Benjiamin Mikhael.