As Hellenic FC ease their way towards the final of the play-offs in the Northern Territory, everyone around the club eagerly awaits the time when the NPL trophy will be lifted into the blue skies of Darwin.
Even though the club has won the League many times in the past, this particular season has extra meaning, since this year marks its 60th anniversary and the people at Hellenic would like to give their fans an extra reason to celebrate.
As chairman of Hellenic FC Kostas Boubaris tells Neos Kosmos, it was 1958 when an initiative began by immigrants and spearheaded by the first chairmen of the club, John Miliariakis and John Vrontos, in order for the people to find a way to socialise and adapt to their new environment. They used football as a means for Greeks to adjust, considering its popularity in Greece, and thus Hellenic FC was founded.
Through the years, many great players represented the team on and off the pitch, like Spyro Makrylos (Stavros, his nephew, currently plays for Hellenic) and Andrew Papazoglou in the 60s. One figure that has remained with Hellenic throughout the years is Boubaris’ uncle, Nikitas, who began his career at Hellenic as a player, continued as manager of the club after he retired, then eventually proceeded to become chairman.
Hellenic has become a family business of sorts; a feeling that resonates even in the dressing room with players being friends with one another and even foreigners having no issues adapting to their new environment. And that, according to Boubaris, is the club’s greatest success. Because even though they have managed to impress in sealing top spot in the NPL NT this season, swaying 17 whole points ahead of their eternal rivals Darwin Olympic and annihilating most of their opponents with 6-7 goal margins, it’s the atmosphere in the locker room that led to all this.
“All our players are friends and even the foreign players want to come to our club because they see the great climate that we have. And that’s the best thing about this. We make sure to develop not just great players but most importantly great characters who will eventually become good people and contribute to society”, says Boubaris.
Even though the club has reached the final of the NPL, Boubaris considers that to be one part of a widely successful season.
“Most of our senior teams, including our women’s team and even our youth teams, are finishing in top place. So to only take into consideration what our senior team has done is looking at things from a narrow point of view,” he says.
Boubaris expressed his thanks to the club’s fans for their continued support throughout the season and promised that there will be an event sometime before the year is over to celebrate the club’s 60 years and (hopefully) success at the NPL final.