George Georgiadis reminisces a memorable Grand Final

A former Heidelberg United midfielder who played with heart and soul, and who put it all on the line for every game and every training session. These are the distinguishing qualities of George Georgiadis who wore the yellow and black jersey between the years of 1993-1998 and 2001-2002.

Having started his career via the junior level for the Warriors, Georgiadis then rose through the ranks to the seniors. He spoke about being involved in the the Grand Final back in 2001 against Port Melbourne at the formerly named Bob Jane Stadium – our upcoming opponents this Sunday.

“Being part of a great club with a lot of history and being someone who played at Heidelberg for majority of my life, it was a big day,” he said.

“We were probably the underdogs but knowing that we had a squad of players that did really well throughout the year, we were confident that day.”

Victorian Coach of the Year, Peter Ollerton, was head coach for Heidelberg at the time and Victorian Goalkeeper of the Year, Jim Kourtis, was in between the sticks at the club. With a few more fresh faces at the club, Georgiadis explained what it was like being involved in the locker room with a group of brilliant players.

“Ollie recruited well that season, our depth wasn’t great but we had kids coming through the system that had great opportunities – it was an unbelievable experience to be a part of with the core group of players,” he said.

“The connection was amazing and it was probably one of the best clubs you can play with at that time.”

Georgiadis remembered walking out to the sounds of the passionate supporter bases of both clubs, mostly being Heidelberg fans in the main grandstand. He mentioned as to why he thinks the club was so successful at that period of time.

“To walk out to a big crowd was a great experience,” he said.

“When l scored that goal it was an unbelievable roar – the experience playing in front of that type of crowd at that level knowing that you have got something to play for to create that history for the club as well was amazing.

“That year l think they were so successful due to the reasons of administration, presidents, coaching and players being all engaged and were going in the right direction.”

Georgiadis talked about the mood amongst the team throughout the final.

“Playing a Grand Final is a totally different ball game than playing a league game. We were 1-0 up and l think we grew in confidence – Medjedovic scored an unbelievable header in the second half to make it 2-0,” he said.

“To get to where we were throughout the season and to be in the position that we were for the Grand Final you would be very positive and say to yourself ‘we were comfortable in holding them out’ but that last 30 minutes felt like there was another hour in the game.”

Georgiadis went on to praise a significant player which he thinks played a crucial part throughout the season and in that final, to the extent where he could have played at a national level, and briefly mentions the highlight of his career.

“Jim Kourtis was probably the best keeper in VPL at that time but could have easily played at the national level as well. He won us a lot of points throughout the season, and there were times when his saves were unbelievable,” he said.

“Knowing that Jim was the keeper just saved us that day. To save a couple of penalties it really created relief after the game – the emotions grew around that, knowing what we had to go through for a good two hours.

“To win something for Heidelberg at that time was probably one of the highlights of my whole career.”

Written by Alex Bagdasarian