Perth Glory winger and Socceroo Chris Ikonomidis has sent a strong message to Australia’s youth footballers – encouraging them to step up and not expect handouts.
Returning to Australia after five years in Italy – the Socceroo has become an integral part of Tony Popovic’s Perth Glory.
While Ikonomidis has flourished upon his return to the A-League, the 23-year-old believes young players should not expect to play in the A-League unless they have earned it.
“The club is a business and there are no free rides for young players,” Ikonomidis said.
“Young players have to earn their chance and they need to be professional about it and take it with both hands.
“Clubs don’t look to not play young players they do what’s best for the club.
“In Australia especially young players need to step up and make themselves known – if they do that they’ll have no problems with game time.”
Ikonomidis has scored eight goals in 15 appearances for the Glory this season – including a few stoppage time winners.
The Glory will host Melbourne Victory in a top-of-the-table clash after the international break – a contest the 23-year-old says will give fans a glimpse of what’s to come.
“I get a bit itchy during the international breaks but [Tony Popovic] makes sure we’re working hard with a few double sessions this week,” Ikonomidis said.
“We’re getting closer and closer to the end of the season and it’ll be good to give the fans a great contest against the Victory.”