Wanderers Academy midfielder Dean Pelekanos opens up on his pathway to the Academy and his experiences in the National Premier League 1 this season.
The Western Sydney local joined the Academy last year after honing his craft as a junior at Blacktown City.
“I’ve been living in Western Sydney my whole life, I got chosen to be in the Blacktown City under 12’s and then stayed at Blacktown City for six years until the 18s,” said Pelekanos.
“Then I had the opportunity to come here (to the Wanderers) and it’s pretty much a dream come true.”
Pelekanos is a foundation member of the club and as a youngster he dreamt of one day playing for the Red & Black, working hard to one day achieve his dream.
“I’ve been a member since the club was founded, going to every game when I was younger,” reflected Pelekanos.
“Now to be in the system, it really means a lot especially for me and my family.
“Growing up and supporting the Wanderers, I always wanted to be at the club from when they started up with the Academy. I didn’t really get the chance when I was younger but I still kept my head down and tried harder and harder each year.
“You just look at yourself in the mirror at night and you’re like wow you’ve really done a lot to get to where you are.”
Pelekanos and the Academy’s first grade team have been playing in the first division of the National Premier League competition this year, taking on some of the heavyweights of Australian football.
“Playing against men, each and every week now, it’s just stepped it up,” explained Pelekanos.
“It brings up your mentality and you know if you really want this you’ve got to break those barriers of being like a little boy because we’re all young boys here.
“So we’ve just got to break through that and become young adults early.
“I feel like the football quality is a lot better (in NPL 1), they’re a lot more determined and with the will to win so we just need to match that or even better it.
“If we keep ourselves at a high quality and high standard, then it will definitely make us better players in the future.”