20-year-old Peter Katsambis hopes to one day join the list of legends that have graced West Adelaide’s locker rooms.

In amongst his football training and carving out his own path in the hall of local heroes, the young attacker is also focusing on his university studies in occupational therapy.

“I’m enjoying it. I like focusing on the body and learning about anatomy… Another thing that’s attracted me to it is in soccer, when you get injuries, you see the physio and they give you a run down of where you’ve been injured and you slowly learn more about the human body which I find very fascinating,” Katsambis told Neos Kosmos.

Football training and studying are not too dissimilar from one another. Both require determination, persistence and the utmost concentration, but the West Adelaide senior has some wise words on his side to get him through.

“The pain you feel today, is the strength you feel tomorrow, that’s something I heard from my previous coach. Every time I push myself to the max that quote comes to mind and pushes me more,” he said.

Katsambis talks overseas opportunities, improving his game and elevating the team.

READ MORE: When the gloves come off: Q&A with Heidelberg goalie Natasha Stathopoulos

What drew you to football?

It was my cousins. My mum’s side of the family are big soccer fanatics. When I was about three, fours years old in 2005 that’s when I first started at West Adelaide. I was basically born with a soccer ball right next me. Ever since then my passion for soccer has grown.

It’s game day, what do you do to get in the zone before the match?

I’m a pretty superstitious person, I have a lot of things that go on. It starts from the night before where I prepare myself, make sure my clothes are out, stretching beforehand, making my Powerades and protein drinks.

It’s a long a list of things I prepare for. I just get in to the zone, focus on the game because I can’t allow anything to distract me. I just focus on what I have to do if I’m on the field or on the bench regardless.

Top 3 training songs?

I like to listen to a bit of Greek music actually. So I did start off listening to some English, but now I feel like the Greek motivated me a fair bit.

I do enjoy listening to a bit of Oneiro, he has a couple of good songs and remixes.

What do you find most challenging about the game?

It’s a very tactical game. If you watch it on television you may not see that. The aim is just to get the ball in the goals but what really happens is all the tactics on the ball, whether it’s attacking, offensive and defensive tactics.

It can all start right from the goalkeeper, a lot of plays, rotations. That’s what’s challenging about the game. Understanding how the opposition plays, the individual player that you’re up against and how they’re playing. It’s a very difficult game to play.

Peter Katsambis Photo: Adam Butler

What has been a highlight in your sporting career thus far?

I’ve won a couple of awards, individual and team awards. A couple of years ago I was in the Adelaide United youth team and had some great opportunities with the league, win the title. I also had some opportunities to go overseas, I went to Spain and been to China.

I’d have to say going to China would have to be the highlight, because we got to verse some big class names and teams like South Hampton and Bordeaux, a team in the French League.

How has football impacted your life?

It had impacted it a fair bit, I’ve been playing since around 2004, so around 16 years. It’s getting into that routine, with the trainings on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, at night time, sometimes I was training in the mornings at 7:30. It’s just been my whole life.

I’ve dedicated so much time to it and it’s also I find that its takes my mind off things. I’m currently studying as well so it’s a good thing to help me take my mind off things and focus on something else and not get too caught up in my studies or any other issues that come up.

What is something you learned about yourself through playing the game?

A big thing I’ve learnt is working with others. In the future, in workplaces you’ll be teamed up with people you may not like or may like, and it’s learning to get along with them and getting to know them better and cooperating.

Another thing is leadership. Sometimes you’ve got to take charge for the team. It may for for a short amount of time or a whole season, leadership and incorporating working with others have been big things I’ve learnt.

What do you hope to achieve in the next year?

I haven’t really set myself goals but it’s just about trying to be the best player I can be. Just working hard. I’ve set some short term goals, but I just want to get some good individual stats with the goals and assists. Just small goals like that.

I want to finish my degree and have a good, successful life, making sure everything is stable.

What’s something someone might be surprised to learn about you?

I’m not really sure because everything I’ve done is basically based around soccer. It’s just soccer and my education, those are my priorities.

Favourite way to unwind after a game?

Usually after the game we stick around the club for a bit, but when I’m on my way home I don’t really have anything planned. I might just be going to an event I’ve got going on or having a night at home. Sometimes I reflect on the game and situations that have happened.

If the result didn’t go our way or if there was something about my individual performance that I feel I didn’t do well enough, it’s just something that will stick in my mind. It’ll actually stay there until the next training session, so if I’m playing Saturday, it’ll just run through my head until Monday.

What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

I’m just striving to be the best I can be. West Adelaide are currently in the State League 1 division, I want to try and do what I can to help this team get back to where they were in the NPL.

There’s a very rich history, it’s a very well known club in the Greek community along with all the legends of the club.

What is something you want to be remembered by?

I just want to be the best player I can whether it’s scoring goals or being remembered by younger, developing kids at the club. I want them to look at me see that they can remember my name and I can be their idol when they watch the game.