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Jonathan Aspropotamitis

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he has made mistakes but has improved a lot, i could see him as a leader one day

 

this might be going too far but how could he be a worse captain than Dimas?

 

Sorry, Goat, gonna have to call you on that one. You've been Cpt. Negative on here for a while now, but you need to back this one up - what makes Dimas a bad captain?

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I just posted on another thread I don't get the lack of Dimas love in this place. Last game shows what happens when he isn't there (see also Wellington last year) he's probably our most important player.

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As for adding speed, sure he can work on it, but so can every other kid in the frame. I,m more than happy to be proved wrong on his speed, to be honest. I'd delight in having this post thrown back in my face in years to come, because I have so much time for the lad and I really want him to succeed.

I too am more than happy to be proved wrong, just making a guess based on what I see. He definitely has the calmness, technique, smarts etc to play CB at a high level.

 

On the training of pace, people can improve a little based on technique and certain training, but not much. Pace is a trait that is almost impossible to get a lot better at, unlike other characteristics.

 

You read books and comments by high level coaches and they will say that pace is something they look for because you can't do much about it.

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I think he's got enough pace to play at a high level, although he probably needs to be next to someone with a bit more pace than him.

 

On the ball he's got everything you want, composure, technique etc.

 

Where he needs to improve a little is off the ball. Just a couple of examples:

 

  • First city game, it was Aspro that dropped too deep causing a staggered line which allowed Cahill in behind to score his goal.
  • 2nd city game, it was Aspro who went for the interception and missed it, leaving a giant hole for Taggart to run through and score.

 

These kind of "positioning" errors i think are the easiest to fix with match experience, so for me he's got a really bright future.

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Something the club isn't telling us?

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he has made mistakes but has improved a lot, i could see him as a leader one day

 

this might be going too far but how could he be a worse captain than Dimas?

 

Sorry, Goat, gonna have to call you on that one. You've been Cpt. Negative on here for a while now, but you need to back this one up - what makes Dimas a bad captain?

 

his communications skills are not good enough to be captain imo and he isnt that inspiring, i mean i could be wrong but for me Dimas never really inspired the confidence i want in a captain, just my opinion

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I think he's got enough pace to play at a high level, although he probably needs to be next to someone with a bit more pace than him.

 

On the ball he's got everything you want, composure, technique etc.

 

Where he needs to improve a little is off the ball. Just a couple of examples:

 

  • First city game, it was Aspro that dropped too deep causing a staggered line which allowed Cahill in behind to score his goal.
  • 2nd city game, it was Aspro who went for the interception and missed it, leaving a giant hole for Taggart to run through and score.

 

These kind of "positioning" errors i think are the easiest to fix with match experience, so for me he's got a really bright future.

I'm a bit late to the party with this reply but Taggart doesn't play for city, so I assume you mean against Perth? Taggart was also clearly offside so had an unfair advantage over the positioning of any of our defenders.

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He is my 2nd choice for captain behind Cornflakes at the moment.

 

He's good enough so he's old enough.

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Because Cornflakes is playing just as well as Aspro is at the moment and has a little bit more experience to deal with refs etc.

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You can't have a 20yo kid as captain - he's doing well, stepping up, leading the defence (you could hear him screaming directing the defence yesterday), getting better every week, but let's not get ahead of ourselves

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He is my 2nd choice for captain behind Cornflakes at the moment.

 

He's good enough so he's old enough.

 

You can't have a 20yo kid as captain - he's doing well, stepping up, leading the defence (you could hear him screaming directing the defence yesterday), getting better every week, but let's not get ahead of ourselves

 

The highlighted bit I was questioning.

 

For the record, I disagree a 20YO can't be captain. Yes, you need the right temperament, but if ever there's a boy who appears to have that, it's Aspro. Also, having come through the youth team is a massive plus in my book.

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Mclaren turns 24 in a few months yet he's still up for the young player award. 🤔

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Mclaren turns 24 in a few months yet he's still up for the young player award. 🤔

Sums up everything that is wrong with how we develop footballers in this country.

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Mclaren turns 24 in a few months yet he's still up for the young player award. 🤔

Sums up everything that is wrong with how we develop footballers in this country.
Brilliante and O'Neil in the same boat. Ridiculous.

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Aspro has been solid if not spectacular this season. Next year is the year he needs to step up another gear and improve his work with the ball plus his heading ability tapered off towards the end of the season. NOT captaincy material yet as that honour should go to Cornthwaite.

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He is a great player in the making. Can see him making a big name for himself if he puts in the work and Popa is the best man to help him develop.

Massive season for him next year and the first mame on the team sheet for round 1 2017/18 season.

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He is a great player in the making. Can see him making a big name for himself if he puts in the work and Popa is the best man to help him develop.

 

he already has a big name.

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Western Sydney Wanderers defender Jonathon Aspropotamitis is keeping his eyes on the prize

 

The player's breakout season with Western Sydney may have led to selection for the AFC but the classy defender is focused on the ultimate goal

aspropotamitis.jpg

Jonathon Aspropotamitis Photo: ESPN FC

12 July 2017
CON STAMOCOSTAS

Upon meeting Western Sydney Wanderers and Australian Youth international Jonathan Aspropotamitis (or as A-League commentators refer to him, Aspro) it doesn't take long to realise that the 21-year-old has the brawn and the brains.

Aspropotamitis was educated at Newington College where former Wallabies Captain Nick Farr Jones also attended. It's not far from the inner west café in Sydney where we drink our espressos. School has been out for a few years but one thing Aspropotamitis has learnt leading into his fourth A-League campaign is not to take anything for granted.

He began playing for Sydney University (SUSFC) in the NSW National Premier League 3 competition when he was aged 13. After stints with Paramatta Melita, Apia and Sydney Olympic he signed his first professional contract with Western Sydney Wanderers when he was 17 years old.

Unlike many of his A-League peers, the Greek Australian was ignored by most state junior representative team coaches and it's surprising to learn that the 21-year-old defender preferred it that way.

"It was a blessing in disguise not being picked for those state teams and skill acquisition programs," he says.

"Because you fly underneath the radar and no-one really notices what you are doing and how you are progressing. So, when you blossom and come through everyone goes, 'where did he come from?'.
"So, in a way that kept me grounded as well. I just kept going about my work and as I got knocked back by teams through that period my parents and my brother always supported me. It was all about keep going, keep going and don't give up, persist and in the end it's all paid off."

Watching Aspropotamitis play is like hearing him talk. There is an assuredness and confidence that belies his age. As a defender, his technique and composure gives the impression that he has more time on the ball than he actually does.

The Sydney junior says that the crucial development he received at a young age was important in building a skill base that is still with him today.

"I used to go to a soccer clinic that had former Socceroo Jim Patikas as a coach," he says.

"I was there for a year or so and I used to go once or twice a week and hone my skills and that's where it all started. Those skill clinics really helped me to get vital touches and get familiar with the ball."

Aspropotamitis revealed that fellow Greek Australian Panos Armenakas who plays with Udinese's youth team was also part of Patikas's coaching school.

"We were a bunch of 11-year-old's and Panos was eight and he was ripping us all," he says.

"He was doing his skill moves around us and making us look silly. From that day forward you knew that he was a talent. To see him kick on where he is in Italy is great and hopefully we can now see him go on and play some first team football.
"That time was really helpful and it's something that is missing in youth development now days with the younger boys coming through."

While at Newington Aspropotamitis trained under Ian Crook who at the time was Sydney FC's assistant coach. That connection then saw the then 16-year-old gain a trial for the Sky Blues youth team which ultimately proved to be unsuccessful. However, the young defender believes that rejection gave him the impetus to improve his game.

"At the time, I wasn't good enough and I knew that," he says. "I wasn't up to playing for Sydney FC's national youth league team and I accepted it and moved on. I knew there were certain points of my game that I had to improve. I knew I had to get better and if I did that I had the chance of making it.
The year after I came to the Wanderers for another trial and I was fortunate to make it then."

His first season with the Wanderers coincided with the club's Asian Champions League (ACL) success. But in the A-League it was a different story as Western Sydney finished second-last in the 2014/15 season. With the club playing two games a week due to playing in the ACL it gave Aspropotamitis the chance to make his professional debut and one which he recalls with fondness.

"It was a great night," he says "I know we struggled that season but on that night, we hadn't won for a while and we ended up coming away with a 3-2 win. It lifted us a bit and we ended the season okay. In my first season, I got to play nine games including the ACL. That year I played in big games and as a young player that experience was invaluable. I'll never forget that, it was a great time."

The following season Western Sydney bounced back from the previous year's poor showing and made the A-League grand final but Aspropotamitis struggled to build on his debut season and only played five games.

"It was [a] tough year. I will admit that," he says looking back on his second year as a professional.

"It was a development year where I tried to take in everything about being a footballer. It was my first year of being in a first-team environment during the whole season. I learnt a lot from the senior players and I took that into my next season and I'll take some of those lessons into my whole career as well."

aspro2.jpg

After signing a contract extension Aspropotamitis says he went into his third A-League campaign confident he would get more first-team football. After being in and out of Western Sydney's first 11 in the first four games of the season it wasn't looking good but his belief never wavered.

"I just knew the competition for places at the club was going to be really strong but I had no regard for how young I was or how old the other guys where," he says.

"I accepted each non-selection and believed I had done everything in my power. But then round five came and I was back in the team again and I made sure I took my next opportunity. Then luckily enough I played every game after that. I carried that same mentality for every game and I didn't take my position for granted.
"You've always got to play well and work hard because if you don't someone is always right behind ready to take your spot. Having that competition for spots was healthy and [it is] why we made the finals again last year. Again, I was exposed to big games and it was a great experience and something I'll take into this season."

This week Aspropotamitis was selected as part of Josep Gombau's Olyroos squad for next month's AFC Under-23 qualifying tournament in Myanmar. And the young defender says he is revelling in being in the national team environment again after being part of Australia's Under-20 squad two years ago.

"It's another step up and another coach you get to play under," he says.

"I'm really coming to appreciate how the coach thinks about football and the way he wants the team to play. We've got a really strong squad going into these qualifiers and I'm really confident. There is a lot of A-League experience as lots of boys have come through the system and played a lot of first-team games, so hopefully we can do well and qualify for the Olympics which is the ultimate goal."

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