Jaushua Sotirio: No rest for the talented

Recently capped by the senior side, we talk to Foxtel NYL player Jaushua Sotirio

The last couple of weeks have been a perfect pre-cursor to the Christmas festive period but there certainly won-t be any relaxing in the Sotirio household.

18-year-old Jaushua Sotirio is planning on training hard after his debut appearance for the Wanderers against Newcastle Jets. That, coupled with his selection and attendance at the Young Socceroos training camp under coach Paul Okon, has seen a massive increase in his training workload of late but that is just how the self-confessed football workaholic likes it.

‘Ja Ja-, as his sister dubbed him from an early age, made a nervous and anxious start after replacing playmaker Youssouf Hersi in the 77th minute at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle.

The nerves were cast aside after only one minute as he claimed his first touch when he pressured the Newcastle defence into a turnover. It wasn-t long before he got another possession that saw his speed and skill to force Jets- glove man Mark Birighitti into making a diving save.

“I felt so blessed to play in my first Hyundai A-League game with the Wanderers and am honored that the coaching staff has shown faith in me,” said the young forward.

“All I want to do is repay that faith for their confidence in me.

“I was a bundle of nerves sitting on the bench but the boys like Iacopo La Rocca and Kwabena Appiah tried to keep me nice and relaxed.

“When I was eventually called on by Popa, I was bursting with energy and enthusiasm as I hit the pitch.”

While some players may dream of a home debut, Jaushua said Newcastle was perfect.

“The best thing about playing for the Wanderers is the support you get from the loyal fans. It is hard to believe that the club is only in its second full season.

“People often think that you enjoy playing at home more, that may be true, but for me the travelling Wanderers fans make every game feel like a home game such is their commitment to their team.”

The biggest things Jaushua noticed about the huge step-up from the Foxtel National Youth League to the Hyundai A-League are the intensity on the pitch and the physicality and imposing nature of your opponents.

“You have to forget who you are up against and concentrate on doing the basics right and trusting your ability and the teammates around you.

“I always try and concentrate on three key qualities when approaching my football; determination, attitude and good mental strength are the attributes I live by on and off the pitch, whether at training or on game day.

“You have be professional with every aspect of your game if you want to succeed.”

Jaushua comes from a football loving family, and decided to take up the game as a wiry 11 year old after being diagnosed with chronic asthma.

“The doctor told me that in order to improve my condition I should take up sport so I heeded his advice and dived headfirst into football”

With a mother and father who hail from New Caledonia, his upbringing has always had a big French flavoring to it.

“I speak fluent French and a little Italian also so I-d love to play in the French Ligue 1 someday. Perhaps at PSG but I-m not too fussy!”

When asked what player inspired him to go further in his football journey, he predictably leaned toward one of the legends of French football; Zinedine Zidane.

The Real Madrid and World Cup winning star was also emblazoned on the very first kit his parents gave him. Not surprisingly it was in the proud blue of the French National team.

No questions though of what country he would play.

“That without doubt would be the Socceroos!

“To one day play for my country would be the ultimate honour, especially given the high calibre of players who have worn the shirt in the years past.

“My time in the Young Socceroos camp under Paul Okon has been a wonderful experience and I have learnt so much from being around so many talented young players and coaches.”

For now Jaushua will put his head down over the hot summer months and continue working hard with his teammates and if given another chance in the senior ranks will make every post a winner.