APIA Leichhardt FC’s Premiership winning star Yianni Nicolaou has credited the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition as one of the reasons why the versatile footballer picked up an A-League deal with Macarthur FC for the upcoming season.
The 23-year-old played a starring role in Franco Parisi’s Premiership winning APIA squad, so much so, his performances alerted Macarthur FC Head Coach Mile Sterjovski who snapped up the South West Sydney defender.
“The NPL NSW Men’s competition was so important for me as a footballer, Nicoalou stated to Football NSW.
“The league offers a highly competitive platform where players can test and hone their skills against quality players.
“Playing in this league has also provided me with exposure to coaches and professional clubs and I was lucky enough to sign an A-League contract through this league.
“With regards to winning the Premiership, we all knew that the first 30-week season in the NPL wasn’t going to be easy.
“I was absolutely delighted with our Premiership win.
“It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team. I will remember this for the rest of my life and can confidently say there is no better feeling than achieving such an honour.”
Having been part of the Bulls youth setup, Nicolaou, prior to the 2022 and 2023 season where he donned the APIA jersey also played for the Marconi Stallions in NSW’s top tier league in 2018 and 2019.
His move to Macarthur came unexpectedly as the young gun was looking forward to a well-earned holiday in Japan that was until Sterjovski gave him a call following a massive year with APIA.
“Playing in the NPL NSW Men’s league provides great exposure for players such as myself. I was fortunate enough to be looked at by a few A-League clubs throughout the year.
“As soon as the season ended with APIA, I was fortunate enough to receive a call asking to join Macarthur FC. I am super grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to seeing where this takes me.”
Nicolaou made an impressive debut with the Bulls following a great display in the club’s opening AFC Cup Round 1 victory over Shan United.