George Souris has been around the block as far as football is concerned, but he has never felt as much as home as he does at the Sutherland Sharks.
Souris’ involvement with the club stretches back for almost a decade, when he arrived at the club after finishing his career in the National Soccer League.
The former Parramatta FC, Wollongong Wolves and Sydney Olympic player returned to state league football in 2008 when he arrived at the Sharks and while his playing days are behind him he remains as involved as ever.
Souris runs the club’s academy development squad and skills acquisition program.
“It’s my local club now. I live nearby and I’ve been involved at the club as a player in the state leagues and now in the NPL, we’ve won a title and it’s been a special journey,” Souris said.
“My son has come through with them and even though he is at the Western Sydney Wanderers now, all his SAP and his early development was with the Sharks.”
And when it comes to developing A-League players, no area in Sydney does it better than Sutherland.
You could construct whole starting XIs of players who have been through, or at least started in, the Sutherland system and are now in the A-League.
“There’s a lot of young talent here,” Souris said.
“There’s a lot of kids around the Shire and a lot of them and for the most part they are all good kids.
“Their natural athleticism makes them good to work with and as long as you can install the good football points into them and they are dedicated, they can go on to make it at an A-League level or beyond.”
The Sharks are pivotal to that progression and Souris says the club’s positive, family orientated atmosphere helps them to remain so popular and trusted within the local community.
“There is no politics here. Coaches are just allowed to coach, as long as they continue to do a good job,” he said.
“That’s half the reason we produce what we do. Coaches just get the job done here.
“Plus, just generally speaking, the club is a very good club. The parents involved are all very nice and respectful.”
-By Matthew Galea
Tickets are available at the gate of all venues this weekend. Attend your local Heritage Round fixture and use #NPLHeritageRound on social:
Heritage Round – Saturday 28 May 2016
6:30pm – Sutherland Sharks v Manly United – Seymour Shaw
7pm – Bonnyrigg WE v Rockdale City Suns – Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
7pm – Hakoah Sydney City East v Wollongong Wolves – Hensley Athletic Field
Heritage Round – Sunday 29 May 2016
3pm – Sydney Olympic v APIA Leichhardt Tigers – Belmore Sports Ground
3pm – Parramatta FC v Blacktown Spartans – Melita Stadium
4pm – Sydney United 58 v Blacktown City – Sydney United Sports Centre