The local game is alive and well in Australia. Since the inception of the FFA Cup last year, the onus has been on local grassroots clubs to challenge the Australia’s best. Hume City, a local club based in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, driven by the opportunity of national-fame have fought their way into this months Quarter-Finals. And with thanks to star winger Theo Markelis, find themselves as quiet underdogs as real title contenders.
Earlier this month, TURF’s Aleks Jason caught up with Theo to take some happy-snaps and chat football.
TURF / Tell us who you are, and how you fell in love with the round ball?
THEO MARKELIS / Melbourne born, as soon as I could step on my feet I fell in love with the ball
TURF / Has your family or heritage played a part in your love for the round ball over any other sport
TM / I come from a Greek background, my father and older brother were playing and i just followed.
TURF / Childhood hero?
TM / I have always been a Manchester United supporter, and you know in general I have a team in each league… choose one on FIFA
TURF / United, so who was your favourite player?
TM Becks!!! But as you get older you move away from one club and you fall in love with styles of play & footballers such as Ronaldinho, Zidane, Messi and Ronaldo’s. My favourite player of all time is David Villa .
TURF / Are you happy with his decision to leave top tier European Football and play in the US? Has football become more of a business in todays world?
TM No matter where you go, if you love the game and play the game it doesn’t really matter
TURF / As a kid, was there any goals you wanted to achieve? Something that pushed you to succeed?
TM Growing up, I’ve always loved the game. getting older, i started thinking more of it as a profession. I wanted to make a career out of it
TURF / You have had the opportunity that many Australians dream of, playing abroad in Spain, Italy and Greece. Has that experience made you want it more?
TM YES! well going there was a whole new experience, I got to witness first hand how football is in another culture/country at a young age. To be honest it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life to meet new people and everything.
TURF / How was the Victory experience?
TM Once again, Melbourne Victory was an experience and they are the best team in Australia. Best facilities, staff and coaches. The team/boys and that amazing crowd. My first stepping stone to senior football
TURF / How was Muscat as a coach?
TM He was assistant at the time, I had Ange and that was another experience I will never forget
TURF / Is Muscat really that angry guy?
TM He is a professional, serious off and on the pitch but when its time to work and do his job. You must respect him, you will find time with him to have a laugh.
TURF / Was the Victory release upsetting? How is the new Hume City adventure?
TM Look, I was a little sad that I was released but I learnt a lot during my time and it’s not just about getting my name out there but its also about playing the game. And now at HUME CITY to have the opportunity to play with a team that we have, I’m loving every second.
TURF / It’s a great team at Hume, the FFA CUP final is so close – your thoughts on potentially facing Victory next round?
TM I was not expecting all this, the boys have been sensational. Playing with them every weekend, they put all their hearts out on the pitch. And Hume City is not the biggest club but we have made it a club to challenge. The treat me well, and I want to do the best for them. It would be exciting to face of Victory I get to see everyone from the club staff and the old boys, but you know in the end I want to win the game for my team and our supporters.
TURF / Would you celebrate if you score?
TM Celebrate? I would rather score than celebrate. But a goal is a goal.
TURF / Can you beat Oakleigh Cannons next round?
TM We have beaten them before and I think we can do it again!
TURF / #shotsfired
TM Look Oakleigh are a great side, but on a good day we have the side and I think we can do it.
TURF / Lets do a few quick questions
TM / Okay
TURF / Toughest player to face of
TM Good question, something I have to think about but Aziz Behich at Melbourne Heart and also I have played in the same team with Isco so he was a tough one as well
TURF / Favorite celebration on FIFA?
TM haha none I just score goals
TURF / Right foot / left foot
TURF / Long Sleeve or Short Sleeve
TURF / Ronaldo or C.Ronaldo
TURF / Messi or Maradona
TM Maradona but I still love Messi!
TURF / PAOK or Olympiakos
TM PAOK yes!
Interview & Photography by Aleks Jason. Edited by Jacob Arnott.