Renowned as one of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s most entertaining footballers, attacking midfielder Brendan Cholakian is busily preparing for the new season with his new club colours at Sydney Olympic.
Now calling Belmore Sports Ground home after parting ways with Manly United where he spent eight quality seasons, Cholakian has transitioned well thus far with his new Blues teammates.
“I have settled in really well at Olympic and it feels like I have been here for years.
“From the very first meeting with Ante, John and Damon to my first training session with the boys, everyone has made me feel so welcome and at home. This is something I really appreciated.
“In terms of our squad this year it’s looking really good.
“We have quality in every area of the field, and we have high levels of competition for spots which is the best scenario. Everyone is really pushing each other at training and wanting the best out of each other to achieve our ultimate goals.
“We have some real quality young talent, competitiveness and good team cohesion, all of which I think will contribute to a strong, positive and hopefully very successful season.”
Asked what made the tricky attacker choose Sydney Olympic after being chased by a couple of other rival NPL NSW Men’s club suitors, Cholakian stated to Football NSW that it was the club’s rich history and respect across Australia along with the former NSL giants’ big yearly expectations in winning silverware that drew him in.
“I chose Olympic for many reasons, one of those reasons is how well respected the club is across Australia as it is one of the most prestigious clubs with an amazing history.
“I also really wanted to play for a club that had huge amounts of passion and desire to win everything that the club takes part in.
“I have always had huge respect for the quality football Olympic play year in year out and I felt it was a natural fit for me.
“I also knew some of the boys, playing with or against and they are good lads and that’s something I wanted to be a part of.
“Ante was also a huge contributor in my decision, I had heard a lot of good things about him as a person and a coach and I was excited with what he had planned and wanted to be a part of that.”
The 28-year-old had no ill feeling toward his former club where he enjoyed much individual success and knew that Manly United would always hold a special place in his heart having made many lifelong friends along the way.
“Nothing really made me leave Manly, it is a brilliant club and it was an honour playing for them for 8 years, I enjoyed every moment.
“It was purely because I felt like I had achieved everything I could have at Manly and I needed a new challenge. It was something I had thought about for the past couple of years but it wasn’t the right time until now.
“I certainly left on good terms with the club, I had really open and honest conversations with the club throughout and they appreciated my decision.
“I have plenty of time for a number of people at Manly especially some of the players that I have played with for a number of years will be very good friends of mine forever.”
It’ll no doubt be an emotional return for Cholakian nonetheless as round 7 will see him back at his old stomping ground at Cromer Park on Friday 9th of April where he will face his former teammates.
“I am looking forward to my return to Cromer Park, I loved playing there, it was my home for so many years and I honestly cannot wait to play there again.”
Asked whether he’d celebrate if he hit the back of the net, Cholakian respectfully stated that he’d definitely hold back his emotion.
“If I do score, I will not celebrate, I think that’s the right thing to do. I’m out there to do my job for Olympic and I will do everything I can to score and assist every time I step out on the field regardless of the opponent, but I will hold back any celebration against Manly I think.”