Football has been a way of life in the Tsekenis household with proud dad and former Olyroo and Marconi Stallions head coach Peter, whose 19-year-old son Damian, is continuing on the family legacy kicking goals at the Central Coast Mariners.
Currently playing in the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 2 competition, young Tsekenis has been delighted with how the season has unfolded thus far for the Nick Montgomery coached side as they sit in first position after eight rounds.
“I’ve found this season to be very enjoyable playing with a great bunch of coaches and staff – it’s a short season I know, but we’re making the most of it.
“There is a lot of competition for places in attack which pushes us to be at our very best and it shows by the number of goals the team has scored. Hopefully we can finish first and go strong into the finals.”
Experiencing his maiden season with the Mariners in both the National Youth League and NPL 2 NSW Men’s competition, the former Padstow United junior was in fine form over the weekend bagging a brace in the club’s 3-1 round 7 victory over the SD Raiders.
Asked what his objectives were for the year, the ace marksman was hoping to hit many more goals and victories with the club.
“My objective for this year is too keep working hard throughout this NPL 2 NSW Men’s season, improving all aspects of my game and to score as many goals as possible along with winning the competition with my teammates – that would be my dream this year.
“It’s been important for my development that we’ve continued to play right through from the National Youth League to the NPL 2 NSW Men’s competition – we were grateful that the rebooted NPL 2 NSW Men’s season went ahead as the more matches we get to play against senior opposition, the better it is for our progression towards the top.”
Former Mariners club stalwart and now NPL 2 NSW Men’s coach Nick Montgomery has assembled a group of quality youngsters with the hope of seeing a few of them win senior deals with the A-League side under Alen Stajcic.
Tsekenis understands the hard work he needs to put in ensuring he too can land himself a senior contract down the track.
“Right now my main focus is developing my game and scoring goals.
“Hopefully the outcome of this is a senior contract at some stage so I am working very hard towards that.
“Nick’s been very good as a coach, he’s pushing the boys and myself to be the best we can and it really shows in the games we’ve played so far.”
National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s fans got a glimpse of the talents Damian had when his father Peter gave him his debut with the Stallions last year in the top tier competition.
His quality performances caught the attention of the Mariners scouts who snapped up the young gun up thanks to these cameo appearances – a moment the youngster will never forget thanks to his father Peter but by no means was he ever given any special treatment on the lead-up to this.
“My father is a big influence on my football.
“He has never given me a free ride and has always made me earn it.
“He always keeps me focused through the ups and downs I go through and he has made me mentally stronger.
“From a little kid I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps so hopefully that’ll be the case with this opportunity.”
Round 9 sees the youthful Mariners face St George FC this Sunday at Pluim Park, a special match for Tsekenis as he takes on one of his former clubs.
“I’m very excited for this fixture considering it’s one of my old clubs so hopefully we can get a win.
“Every game is going to be tough leading into the last few matches of the season, so I’ll do my best to contribute to the team in winning those in getting the three valuable points.”
He may not be sporting the famous mullet his father once did during his hey days with Sydney Olympic but rest assured Damian Tsekenis will be a name we could see unearthed in the A-League very soon.