Sutherland Subway SAP Program in good hands under Steve Karavatakis


Known to many as having the largest pool of registered players in the Southern Hemisphere, the round ball game is played by many youngsters who aspire to one day don the green and gold jersey of the Socceroos.
The 41-year-old has been given the arduous task of pushing Subway SAP?s cause in the Shire area and has welcomed his new coaching duties.
?It?s a first for me in regards to coaching kids as I have been coaching senior players (Sutherland Sharks U20?s and West Sydney Berries First Grade) in the last three seasons.
?It?s definitely refreshing as there is an abundance of talent in the Shire area and I am hoping to develop them alongside our Under 9/10?s coach Christian Zeleny towards the next level.
?It?s important that these kids are given good programs and foundations in being in a total football environment with good credentialed coaches who share the same passion in seeing them develop into potential stars.
?My first indication as head coordinator with the Sutherland Subway SAP program is very promising and I really believe that we will see the talent develop in the next five or so years ? the standard will certainly improve with programs such as this being run by Football NSW.?
Karavatakis first sought an interest in being part of the Subway SAP setup after watching his young son Nicholas go through the ranks with last year?s Under 9?s Project 22 squad.
?Honestly after seeing what my son experienced last year I said I would love to be part of coaching good young kids.
?It?s certainly a different approach of coaching to what I was used to with the senior squads with that you don?t have to deal with egos and players that believe they know more than you ? these kids want to learn, they want to develop and it was an opportunity I knew I could not pass up.?
Thus far, Karavatakis has been pretty pleased with the batch of players currently coming through the ranks at Sutherland and believes that many of them will continue to mould into better players in years to come.
?It?s been a little over a month since we started our trial process and training and already I can see changes with our young players.
?It brings a smile to my face knowing that these kids want to learn as much as possible to play this game I certainly love.?
One particular aspect Karavatakis hopes to see with his young players is the ability to take on players.
?For me, teaching youngsters not to be afraid to take on players and giving them the confidence to play with the ball rather than booting it up the field is what I like seeing.
?What I look for in a youngster is their abilities in controlling and dribbling with the ball.
?I honestly get a buzz seeing youngsters take on players and using their imaginations in expressing themselves as footballers.
?I also see this as an opportunity for me to progress and develop as a coach ? it certainly gives me a different approach to things as a coach.?
The former Australian Beach soccer international is hoping that he can see a number of his youngsters progress to future Australian youth and senior squads as well as play in the Hyundai A-League and beyond.
?Of course getting these youngsters in a program and pathway and preparing them for what will hopefully be a long journey for them in the football world is what I have signed up to do.
?I would love to see these kids progress to the young Australian youth and senior sides and of course be part of Australia?s top tier competition.?
Asked what he thought the difference was in regards to coaching senior footballers and young players Karavatakis replied.
?With seniors you can?t teach them too much as they?re at a level that they?ve passed that stage.
?You can develop some of them but the majority are set in their own ways.
?With kids you can mould them to how you want them, they absorb everything at that age – you start fresh with them.?
-By Mark Stavroulakis