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Band of Petratos brothers

Newcastle Jet's Petratos brothers were once A-League opponents, but with Kosta about to join older brother Dimitri as a new father, the sibling rivalry will continue to the next generation

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Kosta Petratos

06 February 2018

Dimitri, 25, is the older of the two brothers and with 158 professional club games, is vastly more experienced than his 19-year-old younger brother Kosta, who has played 13 A-League senior games.

The Jets signed brothers Dimitri and Kosta for the 2017-18 A-League season. Last weekend Dimi Petratos travelled with Newcastle Jets to play Melbourne City then flew home to Newcastle as his partner went into labour. Luckily the expectant father arrived in time to see his wife give birth to their son Vangeli.

Kosta's partner is also due to give birth in about five weeks so the cousins will grow up together. The young expectant father also hopes to play senior football with his child when he gets older. It's not unachievable as his father Angelo did just that when he shared the same pitch while playing for Sydney Olympic with his brother Dimitri.

"It's pretty great that Dimi's kid and my child will be growing up together," Kosta says.

"Dimi and I have spoken about both our kids playing for Newcastle Jets while we are still playing as well. It would be pretty awesome because we are both young boys as well.
"The fact that my whole family played football I feel like I want to be like them and push forward. With my missus being pregnant at the moment that is going to drive me more to accomplish what I want to do so I can provide for the family."

While the siblings can look forward to sharing their fatherly experiences together, in November last year both achieved the dream of playing professional football together. And Kosta says sharing the same field with Dimitri was a memorable occasion.

"It was really good as it reminded me of when we were younger and playing together in the backyard," he says.

"I've been enjoying being in the same team, especially the minutes that I've had with him on the field. I've always looked up to him so seeing him progress and doing really well this year makes me really happy for him.
"Obviously seeing him play, I try and learn as much as I can. Even in training I go up to him and ask him to give me a few pointers in the same way as the other players in the team do which is pretty good. I just try and learn from him as much as I can. He floats around on the pitch and I keep an eye on him to see what he does because at the start of the season he played out on the right, so I learned a bit watching him play there."

Prior to them joining the Hunter club Dimitri had been in Queensland for four years playing for Brisbane Roar; while Kosta was in Western Australia for the past two seasons playing for Perth Glory.

While the width of Australia separated the Petratos brothers, when Brisbane travelled to Perth for their Round 20 fixture of the 2015-16 A-League season, Kosta's Glory faced off against Dimitri's Roar.

Glory prevailed 6-3 in a high scoring encounter and younger brother Kosta says playing against Dimitri carried mixed emotions.

"It was funny playing against him," he told Neos Kosmos.

"I've played with him but it's weirder playing against him especially when you are chasing him in defence. It's like you want him to do well but you still have to go and win the ball because you are still playing for your team in the end.
"He did get a goal against us, but we still got the result in the end. There was a bit of friendly banter between us during the game. Even when he scored I didn't want him to score because it was against my team but deep down I was happy for him as well because he's my brother.
"Like I said it was just a weird feeling, I didn't know whether to be happy for him as a brother or upset because it was against the team I was playing for."
Back to this A-League season, and this term Dimitri has been on fire with his seven goals and seven assists helping to catapult the Jets to second spot on the ladder. And Kosta says he could tell this year was going to be big for his brother.
"What he has been doing this season is what he always talked about doing," he says.

"I feel like he's always had the ability to play like he has, but this season it's just worked for him a little bit better. When he came back from Korea he had that little bit of extra motivation in him. He wanted it more and he's obviously doing very well."

The football-playing Petratos brothers doesn't end with Dimitri and Kosta. Younger brother Makis is also part of the Newcastle Jets Youth League team. While Makis, 17, is yet to make his senior team breakthrough, all three have spent time on the same pitch this season – albeit in training.

"I've played two or three games with Makis in the youth team," Kosta says.

"He also has been training with the first team as well. Again, that is just like it was when we used to play in the backyard, you just go out and enjoy it. He's an attacker as well. The dream is for all of us to play together in the first team."

With the Jets flying high, Kosta has been limited to a handful of first team appearances and at 19 still has time to develop. But he is grateful Newcastle has given him the opportunity to play with his two brothers.

"I'm just looking to make as many appearances as I can off the bench," he says.

"Obviously you want to start but you need to get that experience from the few minutes you get here and there. There are a lot of really good players on the team, but we'll see what happens.
"I think it's really good that our coach Ernie Merrick has given chances to the younger players.
"It's worked out for them, the older ones are also helping us and giving us pointers and it betters our games. I feel that the boys that have played have improved a lot this season."

As well as Kosta, Dimitri and Makis, Pana – the brothers' 18-year-old sister has been playing for the W-League Jets team and Kosta says that having the family together is helping all the siblings develop their football.

"Pana has had a few minutes here and there, but I feel like if she keeps working hard she could get even more game time off the bench and get some more experience," he says.

"They have been doing very well as a team. It's up to her to work hard and for the coach if he wants to pick her or not.
"But the extra support network will help us because when you are away from home you sometimes get a little bit homesick. But here you enjoy yourself at home because you have familiar faces around you to support you which is really good because I think it will help with all our games."

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