South Melbourne FC can confirm three-time championship winning senior head coach Socrates Nicolaidis will return to the USA at the end of May for personal family reasons.
The man we know simply as “Soc” took over the coaching position ahead of the 2015 season, where he made an immediate impact through his fluent and attacking style of play and being able to bring young and talented footballers through the South Melbourne FC ranks into the senior team. In 2017, he became the club’s inaugural National Premier Leagues coach leading the club to the Premiership and Championship.
Under his tutelage, a core group of talented young women have remained loyally together securing the silverware in each and every league they played in. His guidance and development has resulted in a number of players winning individual accolades and progressing to play at the national and international level. A fundamental principle and tenet of his leadership has been embracing opportunities to progress young players into the Senior squad and surround them with experienced and talented mentors allowing them to succeed.
Soc’s links to South Melbourne run deep in his footballing life. Prior to his role with the women’s side of the club he was a former National League player with the South Melbourne, making his debut at age 15 in the old National Soccer League.
An emotional SMFC Women’s Football Director Gabrielle Giuliano spoke to smfc.com.au, “Soc is a wonderful South person and successful coach, but most importantly he was a teacher and mentor to many young ladies and we will miss him dearly around the club. We wish him and his family all the best in the United States and hope that one day we can see him back at the club.”
In the meantime, Socrates and the club will continue their strong and loyal ties by pursuing some exciting initiatives that will allow many SMFC players the opportunity to play and study abroad. This will be done whilst also building our international affiliations with other like-minded professionals, youth clubs & universities from the US.”
Soc will remain as coach through the month of May before departing to the USA. Former National Soccer League player Angelo Koutos will be the interim Senior head coach for the rest of 2018. Angelo has been the Senior Assistant Coach with Soc since the start of 2018 and he is also the coach of the club’s Under 16 girls who are currently leading the league.
The Club and Senior playing group are positive coming off the back of three straight wins. The squad has united around Angleo and the opportunity presented to him for the remainder of the year and are confident in a successful season ahead.
The club thanks Socrates for an amazing three and a half year spell as senior coach and we sincerely wish him all the best for the future.