A young Australian that has signed for AEK Athens says he can’t wait to get to work for the Greek club.
Sydney-born teenager Paul Katsetis is one of many new signings for AEK, who have had a very busy time in the transfer period leading up to the next Greek Super League season.
The 15year-old, who signed a three-year contract with the club, arrived in Athens this week to start his professional career.
The young midfielder will train with the first team under Spanish coach Manolo Jimenez and play for the reserves while attending school in Athens.
It’s an exciting time for the young player.
“AEK are a pretty strong club. They usually finish in the top four,” he said.
“And this is just the beginning. Over there I’m going to have to work twice as hard. I’ve heard it’s similar to Italy. It’s really technical and they work a lot on fitness.”
Paul started his soccer with Wenty Waratahs before playing for the Granville and Blacktown representative sides. He trialled for English club Portsmouth and Greek club Panathinaikos in recent years before he joined the AEK FC Football Academy this year.
The club in Athens soon heard of Paul and decided to sign him.
Despite his family’s Greek background, Paul speaks little Greek, which could make his move to the Greek capital all the more difficult.
“It’s going to be hard. I’m going to miss my family. But if I really want this, I’m not going to hold back because I miss my family and friends,” he said.
“If I don’t take this, life is going to go on. So you want to try and make it and have no regrets. I have to do it.”
Meanwhile, AEK has also just announced the signings of Greece goalkeeper Dimitris Konstantopoulos from Kerkyra and Icelandic Under-21 international defender Elfar Freyr Helgason from Breidablik.
Konstantopoulos, 32, played 30 Super League games for Kerkyra last season and joins the Greek Cup winners on a two-year deal.
“It is very flattering for me to know I was AEK’s main target for the keeper’s position,” said Konstantopoulos, who made his senior international debut in the 3-1 defeat of Malta in June.
“I promise the fans I will do my best to help the team achieve their goals. I know AEK always aim high because they’re a great club.”
Helgason, meanwhile, will have a three-year contract with the capital outfit having made 44 Icelandic Premier League appearances in three campaigns at Breidablik. “I feel honoured that AEK targeted me because they’re a big European club with some great players,” the 21-year-old said.
AEK, who enter this season’s UEFA Europa League play-offs, have also been boosted by the news Traianos Dellas, Nikos Lyberopoulos and Kostas Manolas have extended their contracts.
The club has also signed Spanish pair Jose Carlos and Juan Torres ‘Cala’ on one-year deals from Seville.