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George Stamboulidis: Young Socceroos’ journey from Melbourne to Madrid

In just a few short years, George Stamboulidis has transitioned from playing in Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs to one of football’s global meccas.

In a recent interview with Football Victoria, Stamboulidis shed light on his journey to Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano, his professional development, and ambitions for the future.

The following was published as Young Socceroos’ Spanish Incentive | Football Victoria.

Stamboulidis signed with the Spanish club shortly after his call up to the Young Socceroos under 20 identification camp in Holland back in February. The young, gifted midfielder however was quickly forced to return home to Melbourne shortly however, as Covid-19 swept through Spain.

Upon his return, no time was wasted when a program was swiftly produced for him by mentor and former South Melbourne FC and Brighton Albion legend David Clarkson with the help of Football Victoria Technical Director Boris Seroshtan, strength and conditioning coach Piero Sarchetta, and his personal UEFA Pro Licence football coach Greek Super League veteran Goulis Karaisaridis.

Adhering to strict government restrictions to combat the pandemic, Stamboulidis was lucky to train with his brother Haris (a graduate of Columbia University and current professional footballer with Segunda División B side Unión Popular de Langreo), who also returned from Spain. Both brothers fondly recalling their younger years and how their backyard was converted to a gym where they would spend a lot of time working out or “jamming” together on the guitar or piano.

Stamboulidis played for a number of clubs in Melbourne, including Heidelberg United under-20s.

Standing at approximately six foot, Stamboulidis considers himself very fortunate to be able to draw on the advice he received from Young Socceroos Coach Gary Van Egmond regarding his strength and conditioning while upkeeping his silky football skills on a daily basis even with the absence of matches being played. Football was also complimented by Stamboulidis enrolling online at the University of Melbourne after graduating from the prestigious Carey Baptist Grammar School on scholarship, with an ATAR score of 92.4

Stamboulidis credits Football Victoria Technical Director Boris Seroshtan and Melbourne City’s Rado Vidosic for assisting him to breakthrough. The pair chose him to take part in the inaugural Elite Late Development Program, which provided him the platform to launch his career.

Fast forwarding 10 months and Stamboulidis has now settled back at Rayo Vallecano and is pushing for an opportunity in the Rayo Vallecano B team, his aim, whilst at the same time playing valuable minutes in the under 23 side in a men’s competition. Stamboulidis’ proficiency in French, Greek and Spanish has seen him named vice-captain in a diverse team, which helps him communicate effectively on and off the field.

Despite the excitement of playing in one of Europe’s top leagues, the midfielder is taking a patient approach, adopting a personal motto of “work hard and then harder, then only I may get an opportunity I could take”.

“The difference I see between Australia and Europe is the time spent training and the myriad of opportunities that exist for players to play many more matches than what is provided for elite young footballers back home in Australia,” Stamboulidis said.

“I spent a bit of time in Greece playing and the football culture was another level to what we footballers are used to in Australia. However people in Spain and in particular Madrid, has football so entrenched in people’s lives and the culture that there isn’t a moment when you do not hear, watch or play football in all its forms. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to develop, learn, play and enjoy the game I have loved since I was four years old,” he said.

Optus Sport to stream Football Victoria’s Nike F.C. Cup Final

Nike F.C. Cup

Football Victoria have made the exciting announcement that Optus Sport will yet again stream the Nike F.C. Cup Final in 2022.

Optus Sport have been the home of the English Premier League in Australia since 2016, and are also home to LaLiga, the Women’s Super League, K-League, J-League and the EURO’s.

The Cup Final will be held on Sunday afternoon, when South Melbourne takes on Calder United at Valley Park Events Centre, Broadmeadows.

Football Victoria CEO Kimon Taliadoros applauded Optus Sport’s commitment and acknowledged their continued support of the local game in a statement released by Football Victoria.

“The appetite for women’s football is growing exponentially and we thank Optus Sport for their elevation of the Nike F.C. Cup again in 2022,” he said in a statement.

“We are thrilled that subscribers across the nation can experience the quality football that the two teams will deliver on Sunday.”

Match coverage starts at 3.30pm AEDT, with the final kicking off at 4pm this Sunday.

Coverage will also be provided for non-subscribers on NPL.TV and Football Victoria’s Facebook and YouTube.

Customers can watch Optus Sport on their favourite screens and devices via Fetch, Apple TV, Android TV compatible Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Apple Airplay, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, compatible Samsung Smart TVs or desktop, or on-the-go via tablet, mobile, or laptop.

FC Bayern and Adobe partner to power the club’s digital transformation

Bayern and Adobe

FC Bayern, one of the world’s most historic and successful football clubs, have announced a multi-year partnership with Adobe to power the club’s digital transformation.

The agreement will bring new, personalised experiences to its millions of current and future global fans – both on and offline – while driving greater efficiency and more sustainable business practices through Adobe’s enterprise solutions.

With a rapidly growing global fanbase, FC Bayern is passionate about connecting fans to their favourite club in new ways. Adobe’s technology will provide FC Bayern the ability to better understand its fans to create more engaging and individualised sports experiences.

Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe’s customer data platform, will help FC Bayern create fan profiles to better understand how supporters engage with the brand and ensure they enjoy a more personal relationship with their favourite teams. This means the overall matchday experience will be enhanced for fans, giving supporters real-time notifications at their fingertips including merchandising discounts, video content and last-minute ticket availability.

With more digital experiences across platforms, channels and devices, FC Bayern fans will never miss a moment whether they are at the Arena, on the go or in the comfort of their home. For example, when a goal is scored fans will receive content on their preferred channel to celebrate the moment in real time, as well as post-match video commentary and highlights.

FC Bayern will also use Adobe Document Cloud, including Adobe Acrobat Sign, to digitise collaboration with fans, employees and partners. With Document Cloud, activities like signing up for memberships or executing player agreements will be quick and secure, while reducing environmental impact.

“Today’s FC Bayern fan is digitally savvy and craves new ways to get closer to our club and players, which is why we aim to create sustainable and lasting interactions that bring matchday excitement to our millions of passionate fans across the world,” FC Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn in a statement.

“We’re investing in a long-term digital strategy with Adobe’s breadth of enterprise applications at the core of our technology, to deepen how our fans engage with the club and to inspire the next generation of fans for years to come.

“FC Bayern has millions of fans around the world, and they are at the forefront of revolutionising fan experiences,” said Anil Chakravarthy, president of Digital Experience Business at Adobe. “With this partnership, FC Bayern will create more personalised experiences to enable fans to celebrate the passion and heart of the club wherever they may be.”

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