The past season for Bentleigh Greens was a difficult one, leaving the club with a feeling of frustration. However, they have worked hard to turn things around, and brought in David Roy Chick as the new Pancyprian bench coach.

Chick has had successful stints at Dandenong Thunder, Pascoe Vale, and Hume City, and is already hard at work to make sure the team is ready for the 2024 season.

One of the first people Chick called was Christos Theodorakopoulos, who signed with Bentleigh Greens last year.

We had an amazing opportunity to catch up with Theodorakopoulos, and he was more than happy to talk about the reasons behind the team’s relegation, his passion for football, and his ambitious dreams.

When we ask the young footballer if he will wear the green next year, he stands straight and reveals that he has already spoken to coach Chick, marking a new start with a new coach.

Against Oakleigh Cannons. Photo: Con Deves

“Of course, yes. I want to stay and help Pancyprios to return to the highest step. The new coach called me and told me about his plans. He is a very professional and serious person and I am excited to work with him to get the team back to where it needs to be”.

When I asked Christos what went wrong during the season that just finished, he didn’t hesitate to give his answer.

“Last season was a real rollercoaster! We said goodbye to some old faces, welcomed a new coach with a different approach, and tried out a bunch of different tactics. Unfortunately, the team’s chemistry was a bit off, so we didn’t get to enjoy the ride as much as we’d hoped.”

Despite his team’s shortcomings, he still thinks they had some redeeming qualities.

“We played some truly amazing football at times. Unfortunately, our final pass and shot were a bit off. In football, the last decision is the most important one; it’s like all your hard work was for nothing if you don’t finish it off the right way. You need to have confidence and trust in your own abilities in order to reach your goals, and we were a bit short of that this year.”

Christos Theodorakopoulos and his teammates. Photo: Con Deves

He’s not buying into the idea that the only way to solve the club’s competition woes is to get rid of the entire team.

I think we have some top-notch footballers, and the training is top-notch too. All we need are a couple of new additions to really kick things up a notch. Changing everything would be a bit too much for the new coach to handle. Now that we know each other and our capabilities, what we need is someone to make us a team, and I’m sure the new coach will do a great job!

Christos is overflowing with self-assurance and aspirations – it’s like he’s got a never-ending supply!

I’m 23 years old and I’m not stopping anytime soon! I have a great job, but my passion is still football. I’m currently studying physiotherapy, but my dreams are still set on the pitch. I’m determined to give it my all and make my dreams come true – who wouldn’t want to play in front of thousands of passionate fans and be able to focus solely on their passion? I’m hoping to play abroad one day – if you don’t dream, you die!

He loves English football and prefers to spend his free time with his girlfriend and his family.

“I’m a die-hard Tottenham fan and I never miss a match! I’m also incredibly lucky to have my brothers as my best friends. They’ve been a huge support system for me and I’m so thankful for all the amazing things they’ve helped me accomplish in life. Spending time with my family is one of my favorite things to do – I love them so much”.

We asked Christos what his plans are for the offseason.

Against Avondale. Photo: Con Deves

“I am planning to spend some time in the sun, either in Queensland or Bali – we’ll see. But I am also dedicating a lot of time to training, as I am determined to be well-prepared for the upcoming season. I am extremely eager this year and I want to start the new season with the best possible results”.

His ambition for greatness and his allegiance to Pangyprios are evident, as he decided to stay with the club despite the tempting offers from other teams.

“I’m sure we’ll succeed – no doubt about it! I’m sticking around, even though four teams tried to lure me away for the new season. But Pangyprios has my heart, so I’m gonna stay and prove to the new coach why they chose me”

At the end of our chat, we asked him to weigh in with his two cents and make a wish for Aussie football.

“Australians have a lot of potential when it comes to football, but unfortunately, the interest in the sport has generally been quite low. However, if the people in charge of the sport in Australia take an active interest in the game, we could very well see more Australians competing in European and Asian football leagues soon enough! It’s not too late for football to get the recognition it deserves Down Under, and one can only hope that the powers that be are taking the necessary steps to make this happen. After all, the talent of Australian footballers should be celebrated and shared around the world”.