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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 July 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 JULY 2019 27 SPORT Alex Gersbach heads back to Scandinavia GEORGE STOGIANNOU Socceroo left back Alex Gersbach is leaving his relegated Dutch club NAC Breda but will continue his professional football career in Europe after signing a three-year deal with Danish Supeliga club AGF Aarhus. After joining Dutch club Breda in January this year, the 22-year-old Gersbach negotiated a release from his twoand-a-half-year contract after the club was relegated from the Dutch Eredivisie at the end of the season. The former Sydney FC player had offers from Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets to return to the A-League but has opted to stay in Europe. The move to AGF Aarhus means a return to a Scandinavian league for Gersbach after his previous two-year stint at Norwegian club Rosenberg which ended when he went on loan to French club Lens in 2018. At AGF, he’ll be joining fel- low Socceroo Mustafa Amini and another Australian footballer, midfielder Zach Duncan. Speaking on AGF’s official website, Gersbach said: “From my time in Norway I know about Scandinavian football and the level, so when the opportunity arose, I wanted to go to the Super League and when AGF came on the pitch I was immediately interested.” “I know Mustafa Amini from the national team and from him, I’ve only heard good things about the club, the traditions, the coaches, the facilities and the supporters. “I’m really glad it’s been here and now I’m just looking forward to contributing and working hard for the team’s success.” AGF’s Sports Director Peter Christiansen, added: “Alex holds tremendous speed, a huge engine and a positive approach to the game which means that both his offensive and defensive qualities can give us new dimensions in the game.” Alex Gersbach in action for the Socceroos. Gersbach has six Socceroo caps to his credit making his senior debut under then coach Ange Postecoglou in 2016 in a friendly game against Greece. Greek-Aussie player hopes to follow in Giannis’ footsteps 17-year-old Paul Tsapatolis will be a member of the Australia youth team at the Oceania Championships in August ALEX ANYFANTIS Paul Tsapatolis is a young player to be reckoned with. With a career advancing at a steady pace, he continues to be a part of the teams selected to represent Australia on the youth level. His most recent accomplishment was a call-up for the Oceania games that will take place between 19-24 August. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, the Keilor Thunder player can't help but reveal his optimism regarding the upcoming tournament. "Traditionally, all Australian teams that participate in the competition have done great," he said. "It's usually between us and New Zealand. So, without wanting to sound overconfident, I fell like our chances are pretty good and if we win it we'll get to go to the Asian Championships," Tsapatolis said. At the same time, it appears his accomplishments have not gone unnoticed from the Greek clubs and while the initial proposal from Olympiacos didn't move forward due to an injury, it seems the time is rapidly approaching for him to take the next step in his career. "AEK and PAOK have recently expressed an interest to sign me," he said. "They both told my agent they would like me to acquire my Greek passport as soon as possible." Young Paul would like nothing more than to be able to play in Greece, as he has a lot Paul Tsapatolis will be looking to make the most out of the upcoming Oceania Championships. AEK and PAOK have recently expressed an interest to sign me. They both told my agent they would like me to acquire my Greek passport as soon as possible. “ of family in the country and they would all be happy to go to the games and support him. As Paul goes on to confess, even though the NBA is a dream for all athletes, he feels that a move to Europe would be the correct decision in order to improve his style of play at this point in time. "It's more of a team sport and less solitary (there), plus I feel fans in Europe are more passionate about it," he said. "Fans in the NBA are just spectators, they don't participate in the game like the Europeans do. I'll understand the game better if I play in Europe." In closing, the enthusiastic power forward doesn't neglect to mention his idol, Giannis Antetokounmpo. "If there's someone I admire, it would be him. Just because of where he came from," he said. "He literally had nothing. He had trouble even getting his family to watch him on his first season at the NBA cause they couldn't get visas. Whoever saw his acceptance speech for the MVP award realises how passionate he is about his culture, his family and his determination to work hard. Even know he's created his own sports centre in Greece. It's incredible, what he's done". The Greek Freak may have already put himself in the record books, but Paul has the future ahead with dreams of success and the opportunity to write his own page in the history of Greek-Australian basketball. It's all up to him.
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