COVID-19 may have halted the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s football season for now, but one hobby Sydney United 58 keeper Tom Manos has concentrated on has been updating his serious sneaker collection.
A formal definition of a sneakerhead is a person who collects, trades, and/or admires sneakers as a form of hobby, a description Manos fits perfectly.
“I own around 50 personal pairs but that’s just going to keep growing.
“The more that release, the more I seem to want – Not the smartest am I.”
Asked what his personal top five pairs from his elite selection were Manos replied to Football NSW.
“That is a tough question to be honest because quite a few of my favourite pairs I haven’t actually worn.
“They look too good to even consider wearing.
“Coming in at number 5 is the OG Yeezy 700. Very comfortable and can be work with anything.
“Number 4 would have to be the Nike Sacai runners. Clean shoe and aren’t overly extravagant.
“Number 3 I think would be the MCA Off White Air Force 1. Chicago exclusive, managed to get my hands on a pair in my size so I’m buzzing about that, even though I’ll probably never wear them.
“Number 2 is another pair I haven’t worn, the Nike MarsYard 2.0. No words to describe them. Fell in love when I got them, and don’t think I’m game enough to wear them.
“And number 1 (drum roll please) it’s the Off-White Chicago Air Jordan 1. The original was such an iconic shoe and the twist that was put on them made them a must. Haven’t worn those either.
“I am also on the look-out for a few Jordan 4 Travis Scott samples and Player Editions so that top five will change once I can get my hands on those.”
Apart from collecting and selling sneakers Manos has kept himself rather busy during the COVID-19 break.
“I won’t lie the COVID-19 break hasn’t been too bad to be honest.
“I keep myself quite busy normally, so I have been able to still keep to the same routine minus the football of course which I’m pleased about.
“The break has allowed me to focus on personal things so can’t really complain.
“Between doing my Masters at Uni, having my own private coaching sessions, and selling sneakers as a little hobby, I’ve been keeping myself entertained.
“Being able to spend more time with family has also been great and we are all enjoying the quality time together but we’re all missing football too.
“To tell you the truth Uni work that is all online has kept me going – I have struggled to keep motivated in recent years but for a change I am not finishing everything last minute so I have kept on top of this.
“I’ve also been trying to stay fit training a couple times a week, making sure the work done over pre- season hasn’t gone to waste.
“A couple puzzles and board-games have also been of great use.”
The Sydney United 58 number one has also picked up on a few new hobbies during the sudden break, one being basketball – Air Manos anyone?
“I’ve started to play a bit of basketball and tennis to be honest.
“Both are a fun way to keep fit that isn’t football specific. I talk it up like I’m a proper player at both sports but my shooting percentage would probably be in the single digits and I hit the net more than anything in tennis so I’ll stick to football for now.”
As mentioned before, the 24-year-old has continued with maintaining his fitness levels albeit utilising different drills away from the normal team environment.
“I’ve been trying to maintain my fitness.
“Like I said before, all that hard work put into pre-season would be a waste to do nothing over this period.
“I’ve been maintaining sessions with Vitas our keeper coach at Sydney United and Kenny, one of my other keeper coaches.
“I’ve also been getting a couple sessions a week in with Spirit FC goalkeeper Jack Greenwood.
“We don’t live too far away from each other, so we’ve found it convenient to train and keep each other fit.
“It always helps having another keeper there to train with and push you.”
Playing for one of the most iconic clubs in Australia, Manos hopes that football can return to normality soon as he, along with many involved are missing it big time.
“One hundred percent I am missing our game.
“One thing I miss would have to be just being around all your mates at training and having a laugh.
“We’re a tight group at United so I’m definitely missing being around the lads four times a week.
“I’m also missing the thrill of game day.
“Nothing is more enjoyable than celebrating a goal or win with the team and coaching staff.
“To get back to doing what we love though we need to be smart in these interesting times.
“I know we all want our lives to go back to normal but think of those around you.
“Stick to restrictions and don’t put yourself or your loved ones at risk, it’s not worth it.”