Melbourne Victory youngster Anthony Lesiotis is living his boyhood dream, after breaking into the first team under Head Coach Marco Kurz.
The 19-year-old grew up supporting Melbourne Victory and has become a regular choice, since playing a full 90 minutes in Round 6.
As thankful as the teenager is for the opportunity, Lesiotis’ dream of playing for Victory probably hasn’t played out the way he imagined.
An unexpected breakthrough
Lesiotis joined from Melbourne City as an aspiring central midfielder, but has found himself playing at right-back where he has received many plaudits.
“At the start I was a bit shaky,” he admitted. “I wasn’t sure as I haven’t ever played right-back, but it has turned out really well. We’re on a bit of a run and I think I’m doing good, at least.”
Lesiotis has now played three full games in his new-found position and is beginning to adapt his skills.
“It is a learning curve. I have to learn much more defensively and going forward. It is more about timing, being smart and anticipating. I wasn’t keen on getting forward because I was worried about getting back,” he said.
“Perth Glory was the first time I played right-back. It came out of nowhere. I just went off watching Storm (Roux) in training and all the things I’ve learnt off him.”
Lesiotis also credits two Victory captains for overseeing his progression as a youth team player.
“Last year, Carl Valeri was my biggest mentor and he helped me a lot. Ola also helps me every day and is always giving me new ideas.”
The young right-back is also full of gratitude for Marco Kurz, who has given a number of youth players a run of games since Round One.
“I believe he believes in me, if he’s picking me for the starting line-up,” said Lesiotis. “Kurz has been helping me a lot over the last few weeks; trying to give me confidence.”
After playing his part in back-to-back wins, Lesiotis remains focused ahead of Victory’s visit to Central Coast Mariners this weekend.
“Hopefully we can go on a bit of a run now, especially after the derby win which boosted our spirits. Then the big win over Newcastle, we can get on a roll from here. Hopefully we can beat Central Coast and keep on winning.”