From inception up until the setting up process, how did you start your business?
I started working in football in 2006 as a scout for Australian clubs and in 2007 obtained my FIFA license.
When the A League was set up, I realised the need for professional agents.
Knowing friends who played football in the past but did not take advantage of career opportunities, I was motivated to work with the next generation.
I believed I could help recruit better overseas players to the A League. I enjoyed success in my first year, bringing Cassio to Adelaide United and Daniel to Wellington Phoenix.
I was proud to have them voted in the top 10 overseas recruits in the history of the A League.
Has your Greek-Australian background play any role in your business?
No doubt it has its advantages. They talk about the ‘Scottish Mafia,’ thankfully I have some excellent Greek friends in the game. At VPL level there will be five Greek teams this year.
What are some of the major challenges that a soccer agent faces?
Football is a small industry in Australia and there are 35 licensed agents in the country, not counting unlicensed agents that filter around the game, which makes it very competitive.
The problem is that outside of the A League, the game is part-time and there is a void for talented young players trapped in a part time system. It is a challenge finding quality players.
There needs to be a stronger watch dog on the industry. I have experienced some shameful tactics from competitors.
One unlicensed agent forged a signature of a player I was working for on a mandate to a Japanese agent, claiming he had exclusive rights on the player.
The player nearly fell off his chair when he saw his forged signature on the contract.
What would you say stands out as the comparative advantage of your business over the competition?
I have taken time to get my business set up with excellent overseas and local contacts. I have met some outstanding football consultants who I work with to help young players develop their game.
You need natural passion for your work and to enjoy working with your players. Sharing their dreams, is important as is working as a team, to take their football as far as their talent allows.
All my players can confirm how hard I work for them. They become friends as well as business partners.
It is an intimate relationship, football is a beautiful game but it is also a ruthless industry. Players need full-time professional agents managing their careers, otherwise they are at a major disadvantage.
How is business currently?
It has been exciting. I have been spending time in Asia and have placed some players in countries such as Vietnam and India, I have a player trialling in Holland and I am constantly working with my A League players on their careers.
I have signed some good young Greek players in the past month, and they need considerable time planning their development work.
I have also worked closely with South Melbourne helping with their recruiting, after I was approached by Ange Dallas.
Since its 2006 Premiership the recruiting needed improvement and I am pretty confident we have got it right this year.
How has the evolution of the A-League impacted on your business?
I would not be working as an agent if not for the evolution of the A League.
The professionalism of the A League has created the need for licensed agents to manage professional footballers.
The list of agents has tripled in the last three years due to Australia finally having a full time professional league to work in.