South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Tsonis back and firing

Tsonis back and firing

Saturday, 3 February 2007 7:01 PM

In his short time at South Melbourne giant defender Arthur Tsonis has won over many hearts with his vast improvement on the pitch, never say die attitude and good relations with the fans.

The man affectionately dubbed “BFG” due to his towering stature and Greek heritage missed a great deal of South’s championship winning campaign last season after suffering a serious knee injury against the Sunshine Georgies, a match in which Tsonis, proving his warrior-like outlook on the football field, continued to participate in long after suffering the injury.

After a solid pre-season and a long road to recovery, Tsonis is approaching peak fitness for the upcoming Premier League season.

We caught up with Arthur to check on his progress.

* What was your exact injury?

I tore my anterior cruciate ligament, tore my lateral meniscus and blew out the back of the patella capsule, so the surgeon said. So in other words I did it well.

* Are you fully recovered? How long has it taken you to recover?

Yeah fully recovered now I got the ok from my surgeon this week to commence playing competitively. I have been training fully for close to a month and a half now. Fully meaning tackling, sprinting, turning etc. It has taken me close to 10 months to fully recover.

* Was it tough seeing the club win the championship without playing after having been such a big part of the on-field action?

Umm…I would have to say yes. It was hard personally because you sit back and think that you didn’t really contribute to the win and it left an empty feeling.

Look don’t get me wrong what the guys did last year with the amount of injuries and suspensions was fantastic. Personally speaking I would have loved to have been on the field when that final whistle was blown and we were crowned champions. However, not to worry, I am even more determined this year to actually be on that field this time and not have that same empty feeling.

* What was your coaching experiment with the youth team like and is coaching something you’d like to continue doing this season, in the near future, or perhaps after you finish playing?

The coaching experience (Tsonis starts to giggle). Look firstly I have thanked the club which gave me the opportunity to still be involved in some capacity; it kept me from going crazy at home doing nothing. An experience it was indeed. It was different. Now I know what Johnny A goes through week in week out. Ahh it was good to pass on some knowledge to some of the younger blokes coming through. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing a young kid 15 16 years of age playing the game because he loves it and not for money as most do these days!

I wouldn’t rule coaching in the future out, but having said that I did it for half a year and I started to get grey hairs, so we’ll have to see about the coaching part for now. Just want to get out there and play again.

* How did your recent selection for the Victorian team traveling to China come about?

Now that was a big surprise to me even! I got a call from the FFV telling me I have been selected for the state squad. The only reason that I can think of would be that I had Phil Stubbins as coach for 4 years at Whittlesea and he knows how I play and my strengths and weaknesses, so he must think I can do the job for him, hence the selection. It can’t be on my form because I haven’t played for 10 months (laughter breaks out again).

* What is your main aim for this season and what can South Melbourne supporters expect from Arthur Tsonis this year?

Main aim for this year personally would be to just get out there on Bob Jane and do my job. Get out there amongst it all playing with my team mates, doing what we do best winning. From a team perspective we’ll basically try and replicate what we did last year and that is winning another championship.

We are a very determined bunch down there so expect a big year not only from myself but especially the TEAM! What can the supporters expect? They can expect to see Arthur Tsonis playing for that blue and white jumper I have supported all my life, giving it my all, oh and hopefully scoring a few more free kicks this year, if Johnny A and Fernando let me anywhere near the ball.

* What can supporters expect from the team this year?

They can expect exciting, attacking football. They can expect 22 guys giving it there all week in week out to get the desired results we want and to succeed in getting back-to-back championships. SIMPLE we as players and coaching staff want to go back-to-back.

* What is the attraction of playing at South Melbourne for you?

Attraction for playing for South Melbourne? Man the history involved with this club is amazing. When I first walked into the change room, seeing Trimmers, Deano and Blats, players I used to go week in week out and watch it was intimidating at first because I was sitting amongst not only legends of the game but also of South Melbourne.

However, the biggest attraction would be simply two words, THE FANS!!!! Where else is Australia can you get fans that will stick by the club through thick and thin? Just the whole setup down at South is great and will continue to be great until the club returns back to its destiny and place of belonging, the top league of Australia.

* What is your view on having so much competition in the centre of defence this season, i.e. O’Dor, Blatsis, Djulbic?

Competition is great. Not only does it make you sharper and hungrier for success but it’s also healthy between team-mates. I like it, bring it on I say, I’m pretty sure the other guys will say the same.

* Your development since joining South Melbourne has fast tracked, you have developed into a very solid and dependable defender, do you have any ambitions to play at a higher level?

Ambitions to play at a higher level? That’s a hard one as I’m getting on in age now. I guess only time will tell and never you know your luck. At the moment I’m just concentrating on SMFC and getting out there on the park and giving my all for the team. Having said that I’ll never say never.

* A final message for the fans?


Showing his appreciation towards the club for sticking by him during his serious injury last season, Tsonis had one final thing to say,

“If I can just thank Johnny A, Johnny Gab, Peter Papos, George Koukoulas and Leo Athanasakis, not forgetting my team mates, for their quality support while I was injured. It was greatly appreciated.

With “BFG” back at John Anastasidis’s disposal, South undoubtedly has an embarrassment of defensive riches in its ranks. With Tsonis being a popular figure around the club and crucial player on the pitch, the South Melbourne football family is excited to see him returning to on-field action and wishes Arthur the best of luck for the upcoming season.

Privacy Preference Center