I have been a fan of Soccer Mastermind and had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Karapatsos, the man behind Soccer Mastermind, through email recently.
When and why did you start playing soccer?
I started playing the game back in 1980 at the age of 6. My father was playing professionally at the time and I spent a lot of time around the green pastures. It was a natural progression that I would play the game that consumed most of my childhood.
What position did you play?
Up to the age of 16 I played as a centre forward (striker). Due to my strength and speed I was granted my first senior game at 16 as an attacking wing back. After making that transition I continued throughout my career as an attacking wing back.
What teams have you played for?
- Heidelberg United (National Soccer League)
- Collingwood Warriors (National Soccer League)
- Trialed with Southampton (English Premier League)
- Canberra Cosmos (National Soccer League)
- Bentleigh Greens (Victorian Premier League)
- Heidelberg United (Victorian Premier League)
- Represented the State of Victoria for 6 years.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I would always put my left shin guard on and left sock first before every match. Don’t really know why, it just felt right at the time I guess.
Who is your favorite professional soccer player?
As a youngster it was Diego Maradona and then followed by Hristo Stoichkov, Gabriel Batistuta and Zidane.
Who is your favorite professional soccer team?
I took my first steps in a Liverpool shirt and have remained a Liverpool supporter for 36 years.
What advice would you give to youth players looking to become better soccer players?
Enjoy the game, train hard and read www.soccermastermind.com!
Your father played professionally. Did he let you play any other sports beside soccer?
One of the reasons I played the game of soccer for 30 odd years was that my father never pressured me. He gave me every opportunity to excel in any sport I chose. As a youngster I played Tennis, Cricket and Soccer.
Tennis clashed with Cricket so I chose to continue with Cricket. As a 14 year old I played my first senior game at District Level for Carlton and still hold the record for the youngest player ever to play at district level.
Unfortunately in Australia, Soccer became a summer sport and I had to choose between the two. I chose soccer which literally broke my father’s heart. My father loved Cricket and would always remind me that soccer was full of politics and that cricket was a gentlemen’s game. The rest like they say is history.
Tell us about your site Soccer Mastermind. Why did you start it and what’s it all about?
I hope to impart a little wisdom, inspiration and kick in the teeth motivation. Not to forget stories from the good old days and the depths of hard knocks, sprinkled with a few tricks of the trade.
Every article on your site ends with a quote. What does this quote signify and why is it so important?
The quote I use at the end of every post is my creation or should I say manipulation of the quote,
“May the winds always be at your back and the sun upon your face. And may the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.”
The importance? It’s like a little prayer I say to all my readers to wish them well on their journey.
Thanks Tom for taking the time to interview with Sideline Soccer. We wish you much success both on and off the field!