There’s a familiar name with a new face making waves in the National Premier League NSW Men’s this season in the shape of Sydney Olympic FC’s rising star Dimi Petratos.
The 19-year-old burst onto the scene a few weeks ago with a goal on debut against Rockdale City Suns, before backing up his effort a week later at Belmore Sports Ground with a dramatic 87th minute equaliser off the bench in Olympic’s 2-2 draw with Manly United.
The Petratos surname is already well acclaimed in Australian footballing circles with four of Dimi’s cousins currently signed to A-League club Newcastle Jets.
The eldest of the bunch, who shares the name Dimi Petratos, was named in the Socceroos’ 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Historically, Dimi began his career at Sydney Olympic as a 16-year-old, where in 2010 he was teammates with his father Angelo for a season.
Whilst this remarkable pedigree leaves a lot for Petratos to aspire to, the attacking midfielder has treasured his first taste of National Premier League NSW Men’s action.
“It felt good,” the youngster reflected.
“It has all come along pretty quickly.
“I wasn’t expecting to go on that early and before I knew it the goal happened.
“My teammates were all really happy for me.
“It’s been something different. The standard is very high, and the pace is a lot quicker than what I’m used to playing with the Under 20s.”
It has been a campaign of mixed results for Abbas Saad’s men, who sit six points off top in fifth position with ten rounds played.
Petratos is determined to inspire the defending league Champions heading into the business end of the season.
“Winning the double last year, we want to try our hardest to back it up.
“I’m going to try and keep getting onto the pitch for first grade and continue scoring goals to help the team out.
“I’ve been encouraged to just keep doing what I’m doing and more will come.
“This is only just the start.”
Rather than being intimidated, Petratos is harnessing the success of his relatives as fuel to continue driving forward.
“Of course, I look up to them,” he revealed. `
“Playing in the A-League, Dimi is one of the best players in the competition.
“I would say it acts as motivation rather than pressure.
“We know what is expected of us, I just have to keep doing what I do best and see what happens.”
Petratos and Olympic will look to solidify their position in the top five when they host Sydney FC at Belmore Sports Ground on Friday night.
-By Chris Curulli