Deion Nikolaidis rising to the occasion

Deion Nikolaidis

Following the 4-0 win away against the Melbourne Knights on Friday night, Heidelberg United fullback Deion Nikolaidis – undoubtedly the newest talent in the NPL – spoke to HUFC Media post-game.

He looked back on integrating into the senior’s squad, as well as getting to know his comrades after being with the club ever since he was a youngster.

While Reuben Way was injured during the beginning of the season, Nikolaidis received the call up to fill the void on the left hand side. Despite Way returning recently, Nikolaidis hasn’t lost his spot and has certainly made his mark on the team.

Having gone through programs at Heidelberg United in the junior ranks, displaying such confidence in such little time adapting to a tough league is the quality that Nikolaidis possesses.

“It feels unreal like a surreal dream – I’ve been training with the boys ever since I was 15 or 16-years-old,” Nikolaidis said.

“I finally got an opportunity and now I am doing my best to work for the team, get the three points and I am just happy with the performance and to be with the boys.”

The big step up to the seniors can take some time for an individual to really hit the ground running, Nikolaidis can look to Way for guidance, as there are similarities between the two players such as both like bursting down the wing and attacking with purpose to provide an option out on the flank.

“It is a big jump from junior age into the seniors but I feel like it takes a bit of time to adapt,” he said.

“I think I am slowly getting there, so just trying to do my best week in, week out, to get better and better.”

Nikolaidis will hope to continue his run of form when Heidelberg United travel to Geelong SC to play in Round 4 of the Australia Cup on Tuesday night at 7:30pm at Stead Park.

Written by Alex Bagdasarian