South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Steve Hatzikostas makes successful return from knee injury

Steve Hatzikostas makes successful return from knee injury

Stephen Hatzikostas made a successful return onto the Lakeside Stadium pitch last weekend against Werribee City, having recovered from an injury sustained in the 2014 NPL Finals Series match against South Hobart FC.

Last week against Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve, Hatzikostas came off the bench during the Under 20s match. He gained a valuable 30 minutes of match preparation and in typical Hatzikostas style, picked up a yellow card along the way.

This week he was in the starting line-up for the Under 20s on the pristine Lakeside Stadium pitch for the match against Werribee City. Playing sixty minutes in the midfield, Hatzikostas was an imposing figure in the centre of the pitch.

Speaking to after the match, Hatzikostas said “I’ve been tracking really well, it felt good today. Just a matter of fitness and sharpness now. The more minutes I can get in the 20s, the closer I am to playing senior football. When that is I don’t know, it will be up to Chris Taylor but I’ll work as hard as I can in the 20s until I’m required in the first team.”

Playing a senior squad member in the Under 20s is a rarity at South Melbourne. Coach Sasa Kolman refelcted on the 0-0 draw with Werribee City and specifically the influence Hatzikostas had on the match. “We were lucky we had Steve in the team. He knows how to stop the ball and how to deliver the ball with great accuracy. Once we took him out, we didn’t have the same structure anymore. As long as he was there, everything for us was working perfectly fine. We were pressing, having the ball, creating the chances. You can’t wish for more than that” he said.

Kolman was asked about how much of an impact it was for the younger players to have an experienced and senior player such as Hatzikostas on the pitch. “A massive impact. He is probably one of the best players there anyway. The boys can learn a lot from him. He is a really nice kid who is giving instructions to the young ones. They can get a lot out of it if they are smart. I think that’s a bonus for us over the weeks he is with us” Kolman said.

Privacy Preference Center