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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 January 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 JANUARY 2019 19 SPORT Meet Miette, the 15-year-old Greek Australian behind ABC’s series Kick Neos Kosmos meets up with Miette Georgio and her father Dean, whose ABC TV show Kick follows the football journey of rising Greek Australian stars Sophia Sakalis, Paige Zois and Nia Stamatopoulos CON STAMOCOSTAS Picture this. You're an 11-year-old junior footballer who has her own Vimeo channel and with the help of your mum and dad, upload footage from your team's matches, as well as mock interviews. Some of these videos also feature Matildas star Steph Catley and Socceroo legend John Aloisi, and with your whiz bang editing skills you turn that footage into a 14-minute documentary called Time to Shine. Cut to three years later and your idea has been developed into an ABC TV series titled Kick where over three seasons it makes stars of yourself and your teammates. Miette's father Dean Georgio together with Paul Zarogiannis filmed the action and interviews for the show, which attracted more attention on social media than they anticipated. "We filmed everything but Miette is an avid editor and she put the footage we shot together and created Time to Shine," he told Neos Kosmos. "When I saw it I thought 'this is pretty good'. Then it started getting shared around by people like former Matildas goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri, and former Socceroo Kimon Taliadoros. Then the ABC picked it up." The first series of Kick featured Miette playing for her local team age 11 while the second series followed her football journey as she rose up the ranks after being selected for the Victorian National Training Centre (NTC) at 12. Now three series on, speaking to Neos Kosmos, Miette was still pinching herself that her idea ended up being shown on national television. "Honestly it was really unexpected," she revealed. "Firstly because I only created the story mostly for my team. The first season was put together to just show the girls and the team and it was mostly just for fun. Then when my dad told me the ABC picked it up Miette behind the scenes of Kick. were transitioning to Junior Matildas so we went to Thailand and filmed them playing. "At the time the younger girls Nia, Alana, Paige and Miette were still in the NTC U-13 and U-14 squads. Then at the end of the fifth and final episode of the series you see Alana Jancevski, Paige Zois, Nia Stamatopoulos all playing for the Junior Matildas." Soon after, Stamatopoulos (Melbourne City) and Zois (Melbourne Victory) also signed for W-League clubs joining Sokalis (Melbourne City) and Cooney-Cross (Melbourne Victory) who achieved that milestone in episode three. Alana Jancevski, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Nia Stamatopoulos, Sofia Sakalis and Paige Zois are rising young starts featured in ABC’s Kick. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED I said, 'Really?!' I didn't believe it. Now looking back it's just crazy how far we have come from a 14-minute documentary to a whole series of episodes." While she is happy to be involved with editing and narrating, Miette revealed that she prefers to be behind the camera rather than front and centre. "Being on TV is really weird," she says. "Hearing and seeing myself and also because it's on ABC Me, a channel that I used to watch when I was younger. When I used to watch that channel I used to look up those people. Now I'm getting kids that look up to me and my co-stars!" After the first two series showcased Miette and her journey playing for her various teams, the third instalment of Kick went even bigger. It documented Miette along with five other Victorian rising stars including Alana Jancevski, Kyra Cooney- Cross and fellow Greek Australians Nia Stamatopoulos, Sofia Sakalis and Paige Zois as they navigated their burgeoning football careers. Filmed over two-and-a-half years across numerous locations overseas and interstate, it followed the girl's journey from unknowns to stars in the making. "All six girls had different paths," Georgio says. "Sophia Sakalis and Kyra Cooney-Cross were part of the older NTC brigade and back then Looking ahead Miette has aspirations to play in the W-League, USA or in Europe. She revealed the many young female footballers of Kick have empathised with her experience, especially given her story highlighted how there was more than one pathway to be a professional footballer. "It's crazy having actual Junior Matildas making it and having Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City players on the show," she says. "It proves that it really is possible to make it. There are also a lot of girls that have told me they really relate to me because of lot of my friends have made it to the Matildas squad and I am still really working hard to get there. I am still in the system and still putting in a lot of Kokkinakis earns spot at Australian Open Thanasi Kokkinakis has made an impact at this year’s edition of the Australian Open, prevailing in his final qualifying match against Canadian Peter Polansky on Friday 6-4, 6-4. It was his second win over the Canadian in recent weeks, following straight sets win at the Brisbane International. The 21-year old from Pylos made the opening qualifying games look easy as he blew away his opponents, not even losing a single set so far. His first game was against Egyptian Mohamed Safwat, which he won 6-2, 7-6, while on Thursday he defeated Austrian Sebastian Ofner, 6-4, 7-6. He now needs one more win in order to see his name on Thursday's draw for the final round of the tournament. In the women's singles, Valentini Grammatikopoulou made a strong statement with her opening performance against Romanian Irina Bara, as she defeated her rather easily, 6-3, 6-2. The 21-year-old from Kilkis now moves on to face Canadian Bianca Andreescu in the second qualifier, in the hopes that she too can advance even further. The rest of the represent- atives of the Greek-Cypriot community were not as fortunate in their efforts however. Jaime Fourlis had a stroke of bad luck in her draw, as she was made to play against former world number 24 Christina McHale and lost the game without much of a contest, 4-6, 2-6. Thanasi Kokkinakis seems ready to leave his mark at the Australian Open. PHOTO: AAP/GLENN HUNT Raluca Serban put up a good fight but ultimately couldn't take down the obstacle that was Chinese athlete Xu Shilin, losing 3-6, 6-3, 3-6. However the greatest upset came from former Cypriot legend Markos Baghda- tis, who dropped out from the competition in just his opening game against Darian King from Barbados. Former world number eight was shocked to lose the opening set rather easily and just when he appeared to bounce back, winning the second set and heading into the deciding third one, he lacked the energy to go on, giving an easy win to his aspiring opponent, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6. Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari have already sealed a place in the Australian Open thanks to their worldwide rankings.
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