Sutherland Sharks have secured the services of highly rated Sydney FC midfielder Jerry Skotadis this week for the remainder of the season after being watched by a number of scouts in what turned out to be his final match for the Sky Blues against Manly United in round 13.
Against the physical prowess of one of the league’s high flyers, he more than held his own but youthful experience was no match for the bludgeoning onslaught meted out by their opponents going down gallantly 3-1 to a last minute decider.
A couple of stand out passes down the right to set up attacks, unfortunately not finished off, were noticeable along with a fiercely competitive hunger for the retrieving the ball when lost by his team mates.
Starting his junior football with the Mascot Kings and a variety of Eastern Suburb clubs, and of course Sutherland Sharks.
Skotadis made his way to Sydney FC with the hope of getting some first team game time this season, accomplished when coming on during their Asian Champions League game at OKI Jubilee Oval, a small taste of what he hopes will become regular sooner rather than later.
“My main objective this season was to play to my best and hopefully, if the opportunity arose, to gain a first team appearance,” he said.
“It was a great experience running onto the pitch and it’s something I want more of but I know I have to push myself to the limit to make that happen.”
His early football, played out like so many youngsters on the pitches of Sydney, has given him a down-to-earth approach to the game but he singles out one coach in particular.
“Milan Blagojovic was a very good coach when I played under him for a short time but obviously I want to learn from all my coach’s and team mates, to improve and be the best player I can be.”
The quietly spoken player is a no-compromise player in the middle of the park but has an eye for a pass but is happy to either sit in or go forward, it’s all about the team performance and where he best helps them that matters.
“The points are the important thing in the game and I want to help my team achieve that and it’s all about obtaining the result that matters.
“If everyone does their job efficiently and the team plays well, that is what matters. It’s a team game but if after the match you get noticed for your efforts of course it’s nice.”
He readily admits the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition is a tough league to play in.
“This is a strong league and a physical one so you need to stand up if you’re to make an impression.
“The players are physically strong, hard, fast which you have to adjust to and you are given little time on the ball so at times it can be difficult to play through the lines as you want to but with each game we played together at this level the more we could take away from it.
“Hopefully I can continue my progress at Sutherland Sharks and I wish Sydney FC all the best for the remainder of this season.”
Skotardis often makes the difficult look easy, never one to be flashy but matter of fact sets about getting the job done.
His progress has been keenly monitored so far and that looks set to continue as a new chapter begins and it will be very interesting to see what lay ahead for this likeable kid.
-By Micky Brock