Young defender Tass Mourdoukoutas have paved a way for himself in the Wanderers Hyundai A-League team.
Growing up in Sylvania Waters, Mourdoukoutas started playing football at the Football NSW Institute before moving to Sydney Olympic’s youth team in 2016.
From Sydney Olympic, Mourdoukoutas was scouted for the Wanderers Academy where he played in both the club’s NPL 2 first grade side and Championship-winning Foxtel Y-League team.
After a number of call-ups for the Young Socceroos and consistent performances in the Academy, Mourdoukoutas made his Hyundai A-League debut in Round 16 against Wellington Phoenix coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw.
It wasn’t long then before Mourdoukoutas was snatched up by the first team with the youngster getting some vital senior football under his belt.
Mourdoukoutas has been one of the shining lights on a challenging campaign for the Red & Black and has played a role in each of the matches the Wanderers have won this season with the centreback believing this season has been fundamental for his development.
“(The wins) have definitely shed a more positive light on the season, it’s always good to win and it has given us some momentum heading into the final stages of the season,” explained Mourdoukoutas.
“I think even more experienced players haven’t really had a season like we have this season.
“But I think there’s a lot of positives to come in the remaining weeks. Everyone is still looking to make their mark, especially us younger boys because we still haven’t proven anything yet.
“I actually think there’s been a lot of good experiences to be gained, more so than discouraged, because I think with the older players going through this situation with you can learn from how they react.
“They’ve all reacted really well and we learn from that.”
Mourdoukoutas has been part of a group of Wanderers Academy players that have been thrust into the first-team action under the guidance of head coach Markus Babbel.
For Mourdoukoutas, it is no surprise that the Academy has been producing such talent and he is humbled by the opportunities given to him.
“You could say there’s a whole new generation of Wanderers, as we have a great Wanderers Academy and plenty of players coming through so it’s only natural that these players progress into the first team,” said Mourdoukoutas.
“Obviously, a lot of praise goes to the boss Markus Babbel for giving us young boys a chance.
“Whether that has been out of necessity or we’ve earnt our chance, a lot of boys have really taken our chances.
“And that’s been through great guidance by coaching staff and senior players who have really helped us be prepared throughout the week and the whole season.”
Looking to the future, Mourdoukoutas is determined to continue working hard each time he pulls on the Red & Black hoops.
“We’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep working, especially us younger players so that we can keep learning every day.
“And keep growing as a footballer and a person, which is the most important thing.”