It’s been a change of new scenery for midfield lynchpin Daniel Araujo after the talented 25-year-old made the switch from Blacktown City to Rockdale Ilinden for the 2021 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s season.
Blacktown City was home for Araujo who spent a considerable number of years honing and developing his skills as a 15-year-old before leaving for Sydney FC’s NPL side before returning to Lily Homes Stadium once more.
“I first represented Blacktown City in the Under 15’s then had a couple of seasons with Sydney FC’s youth side in between before returning.
“I had some great times there, but I decided to leave the club as I felt like I was getting too comfortable and wasn’t pushing myself to my limits.
“I felt like I needed a new challenge and wanted to push out of my comfort zone.
“It was a tough decision for me to make as I was so close with the Blacktown City lads as well as the coaching staff, but I felt it was for the best.”
Settling into his new surroundings at Illinden hasn’t been an issue as Araujo has already made his presence felt with his new teammates and the coaching staff in a positive way.
“I feel as though I have settled in quite well.
“Everyone at the club has been very welcoming which has made settling in easy for me.
“I’m really looking forward to the season ahead with Rockdale.
“I want to ensure that I am consistent with my performances as well as help the team win more silverware on the back of them taking out last year’s Premiership.
“ So far preseason has been good, the lads and coaching staff have kept high standards throughout and we’ve been playing some good football in our friendlies which has put us in good shape for our opening round fixture against the Wollongong Wolves at home next Sunday.”
A possible candidate for future ‘Coach of the Year’ awards, Steve Zoric has also been a figure Araujo has been very impressed with.
“I have found Steve to be a top coach, he’s always demanding high standards and encouraging the players to play quality football, which has suited my playing style very much.”
Blessed with an impressive squad for the 2021 season, the club’s well known, and much admired “Baker” Alec Urosevski has been the player that has really caught the former Blacktown City’s eye thus far.
“Alec Urosevski has been a player that has impressed me since coming to Rockdale, he has been consistent throughout preseason and has been clinical in front of goal and I am really looking forward to playing alongside him come round 1.”