The name William Doumanis was first heard during the previous National Premier League (NPL) season in Victoria, with the young player participating in three games for the ‘Cypriots’. The most standout performance was undoubtedly his presence in the Grand Final at AAMI Park.

The young player has a Greek background and was born in Melbourne on 11 January 2002. Just 18 years of age, he stands at 1.82 metres in height and plays the position of central defender. His parents, Christopher and Phay, hail from Kalamata and Limnos respectively. Apart from his passion from football, the formidable player is also studying for a Bachelor of Business degree at Monash University.

The youngster took his first steps in the world of football when he was only nine years old, starting from the Sandringham children’s division, to then move on to Beaumaris. In 2015, he found himself at Kingston Heath playing with the Bentleigh Greens while in between he took a short break to play with the Melbourne City Youth (2018.)

One of the greatest experiences of his short football career was his participation in the Mediterranean International Cup with the Bentleigh Greens U-14 squad. The tournament took place in Costa Brava, Spain, and saw young Doumanis go up against some of the greatest teams in the world, including Manchester City, Villarreal, Barcelona’s Asian Academy and teams from Japan and Argentina.

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He is a big supporter of Melbourne Victory, and also claims to be a PAOK fan as far as Greek teams are concerned, although he hasn’t really had the chance to keep up with the team this season.

Doumanis also likes to keep up with English football and the Premier League, more specifically his beloved Liverpool. His idol is Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk and he dreams that someday he will have the chance to play at that level.

On 15 September 2019 during the extra time of the NPL Grand Final at AAMI Park against Avondale, the Greens manager Nick Tolios – who admittedly enjoys taking such risks – threw a then 17-year-old Doumanis into the game. For the short time he played, he left the greatest of impressions, so much so that this season his coach was planning to place him with the seniors. Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions and the club’s decision to not participate in the league, will deny the young player the chance to let his talent unfold on the pitch.

During the quarantine period, Doumanis – who claims he was born to play football – never stopped training at his home gym or staying in touch with the ball at his local park.

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In our short conversation, Doumanis spoke to Neos Kosmos about his experience in last year’s Grand Final: “It was such an incredible night for me! As a young boy, you never expect to live such a magical moment. What was even greater was that I helped the team win the league that night. I owe a lot to John Anastasiadis who noticed my talent and to Nick Tolios, who gave me the opportunity to play in such a crucial game.”

Yet besides his managers, there was also another figure that played a key role in the young defender’s rapid development as a player. His father, Christopher, who also played football in Victoria quite a few years ago with the South Melbourne Youth, the Oakleigh Cannons and Kingston City.

Doumanis admits that his father has been his guide towards all he has achieved until today. “My dad and I are very close, I would almost say that he’s my second coach. I train with him at least once a week, and many times we wake up early in the morning to watch european football on the TV, while we also go to the stadium every now and again to watch the Victory,” he said.

* Adapted by Alex Anyfantis