The 18-year-old Melbourne Victory recruit sits down with Neos Kosmos and tells us his thoughts on his new team, hist stint at Perth Glory and his hopes for a European football career.

Helen Velissaris (HV): Welcome to Melbourne.

Jesse Makarounas (JM): Thanks, it’s great to be here. I always thought Melbourne Victory was a great club in the A-league, they’re one of the biggest clubs. It’s such a real honour to play for them now.

HV: How are you settling in?

JM: I’m enjoying it so far. I’m trying to find my way around the city. It’s a big city. By yourself it’s a bit of an adventure. I lived in Perth my whole life, except for a
year where I lived in Canberra with the AIS. I guess I’ve always put football
first in my life, I guess it’s a bit of a new adventure for me in Melbourne.

HV: How were your first training sessions?

JM: I’ve had a few training sessions, I’ve been trying to learn the shape and the way the team plays, the tactics and my position and my roles and responsibilities.It’s a lot of information to take in because the boss Ange [Postecoglou] is pretty big on knowing your roles and responsibilities. There’s lots of great players and great coaching. I think it’s a great place for me to learn and improve as a footballer.

HV: Is there anyone you’ve admired as a player in Victory?

M: I love the way Marcos Flores plays, I just think that’s the kind of player I aspire to be. I was getting a few tips off him this morning at training. He sort of plays the same position as me. My whole life I was a striker, attacking. The system that we play at Melbourne Victory is perfect. The position they have, they basically have two number 10s and I think I can fit into the position really well.

HV: Tell me a little about your time at Perth Glory:

JM: I guess it’s the same with any football. You go and you want to play. You wouldn’t be a footballer if you didn’t want to play. It was frustrating for me, Perth Glory was my home club and I’ll always follow them and I hold them in high regard. I don’t think it’s anything to do with the club, but there were good players in my position. I would have played but there were all performing. There were players I was learning off at training everyday, so as much as I wanted to play I’m still
young, I’ll just take my experience I had at Perth Glory and hopefully I can get
some more appearances and improve here at Victory.<

HV: If you have to verse Perth again, do you think it will be a bit of a grudge match?

JM: [Laughs] I guess every match is a grudge match. Everyone has the winning mentality, so you never really want to lose, but it would be special to verse my old team. It’ll be a good experience, but I’m not really wishing for it.

HV: Tell me a little about your background:

JM: My dad’s Greek, his family is from Kalimnos and my mum’s side of the family is Italian, from Sicily. I’ve got a bit of a mix. The Greek community is big in Melbourne, my dad told me that before I came over.

HV: You should go out on Lonsdale Street, that’s the Greek precinct:

JM: Yeah, I walked down it the other day and I noticed all the Greek

HV: Have you followed the Super League in Greece?

JM: My dad’s side of the family likes AEK Athens, so when I was younger I used to follow them. But it’s been a bit harder, because there not televised on Australian television. I just look at the scores now. There’s lots of big players in the Greek League.

HV: What do you expect with your career, where do you want to go?

JM: Like every player, I have dreams to play in Europe. For me my biggest goal is to play for the Champions League, I think that’s the pinnacle of your footballing career if you can play a Champions League. It’s a big dream for me to also represent my country at the World Cup.

HV: You played for the AIS youth league, how was that?

JM: My age group was the under 17s for the national team, so we went to Mexico, I was fortunate enough to go to Mexico for the World Cup. That was an amazing experience, something I’ll hold for the rest of my life.

HV: Do you think you’ll get your first chance to play these weeks?

JM: I’m not sure, I’m hoping to but it’s not up to me.