Kayes, who is currently 24 years of age, has been around the competition since he was 16 when Blacktown City signed him to play under then coaches Brian Brown and Cliff Pointer ? the legendary NSW Premier League duo currently in charge of Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
?I have been here at APIA Leichhardt for six seasons,? he said. ?I came here from Blacktown where I played all throughout my youth and then I went onto a first grade contract with Brian Brown and Cliff Pointer when I was 16.
?After Blacktown, I came here to APIA under John Romeo [APIA Leichhardt?s former head coach], so it has been a while now. I was in the Australian Schoolboys team that toured the UK under Romeo and I followed him here.?
Stephen Kayes is a very familiar face in the NSW Premier League and a model of consistency for APIA Leichhardt. Even though he considers himself to be a central midfielder, he is very much enjoying another role now.
?I really enjoy playing in the centre of the park, but I am really enjoying the current right back/wing back role. I feel comfortable there,? he said.
Kayes is still young enough to hope for an A-League breakthrough but he is certainly not losing focus on the present. He is semi- professional footballer who is totally focused on APIA Leichhardt.
?I am enjoying my time here at APIA and the short term plan is to try and make finals football,? he stated enthusiastically. ?It would be great to play in the finals. I think we have the squad to do it.
?You always hope to move on to bigger and better things, but unfortunately it doesn?t always happen. You just have to keep performing here at APIA and if it happens, it happens.
?A few years ago people wanted to send me to a few different [A-League] clubs for trials but it never really eventuated – it would still be great if something could happen down the track.?
Like many good footballers, Kayes has also a plan beyond football.
?I have finished my Physical Education Teaching degree and I am working fulltime for a company [Sporting Schools Australia] that does the PE programs in primary schools,? he said.
?I am enjoying that and it keeps me busy. I am currently working in primary schools but I went to university to study secondary education.?
-By Joe Russo