A midseason change of scenery for winger Peter Kekeris has bore early fruit as the high-flying youngster eyes a late season charge for APIA Leichhardt FC as Cup football looms.
Transitioning from one club to the other can be a difficult prospect in the life of a footballer. Surroundings, coaches and teammates take time getting used, it’s a normal part of the process.
However for APIA Leichhardt FC’s Peter Kekeris, this transition from Sydney Olympic amidst the middle of a campaign has seemed to affect him like water off a duck’s back.
With 8 appearances to his name already at Lambert Park and a host of goals and assists, Kekeris has started life very well at his new home and the youngster, aged 22 says he couldn’t be happier.
“It’s been a good start. It was great to grab the match winning assist in my first game.
“From there it’s been good to get more game time and make more of a contribution with goals, assists and just doing my part for the team.”
For a player with experience at A-League outfit the Central Coast Mariners, the quality of Kekeris’ play has been a welcomed addition for an APIA side who are right in the hunt for finals football this season.
“When I arrived we went on a good run of performances, collecting vital points.
“Then just prior to lockdown we had some tough results not go our way but it’s still all to play for.
“However, we’ve qualified for the FFA Cup and are in with a great chance in the Waratah Cup so there’s some exciting fixtures ahead of us.”
For a young footballer like Kekeris, opportunities like those in the FFA Cup are worth their weight in gold.
Being able to butt heads with the best of the best within Australian football, in front of a national audience, is more than enough to stoke the flames of aspiring footballers in this country.
For Kekeris, he says it’s competition he can’t wait to give his all in.
“For NPL players, the cup is so important.
“It gives us a chance to showcase what we can do and potentially earn ourselves a professional contract.
“We’ve drawn Cooma Tigers first up. They’ll be a tough side no doubt, but we are confident we can get the job done and hopefully draw an A-League side and if that opportunity arises, we’ll show no fear.”
For Kekeris, he said the timing of lockdown was a shame but a time he is using to stay fit and enjoy time with his family.
Representing a club with a rich history like APIA comes with it, its own weight of expectation.
Nonetheless, Kekeris knows that both himself and the side will be itching at the bit once the season recommences.
“We can’t wait to get back out there.
“We’ve set the bar high. We want to go as far as we can in the FFA cup, win the Waratah Cup and gain a spot in the finals.
“We know that it won’t be easy but we are a side with the talent capable of bringing more success to the club.”
-By Joseph Esposito