Tass Mourdoukoutas has been rewarded with a new three year deal with the Western Sydney Wanderers but the rising Australian football star says he is not about to rest on his laurels.
The club’s faith in their youth development program was never more evident than in the decision to ensure the Wanderers Academy graduate remains an integral part of their plans moving forward.
While Mourdoukoutas could not hide his delight in having secured his future, the defender is not about to relax. Instead, he is determined to lift his motivation and intensity to the next level.
“My time at the Wanderers has been nothing but pleasant. I’ve really enjoyed myself and learned a lot so I am looking forward to continuing that over the next three years,” said Mourdoukoutas.
“Since I was a kid, I have worked for this moment, for this new contract, for everything that has come my way.
“This is massive for me, for my family and everyone that has believed in me along the way.
“But, you don’t kind of take it as security, it’s not a time to relax. It is time to actually get more and more under my belt and I think this new three years is a great opportunity to do so.”
Mourdoukoutas, who made his senior Wanderers debut in 2018 and has gone on to make 12 appearances in the heart of the defence, paid tribute to the club’s youth development program.
The Red & Black has been a wonderful breeding ground for aspiring talent in the region, providing a host of players to the national junior team set-ups.
“Yeah, it is huge. Player development is massively important and it’s critical here at the club and you can see that,” said Mourdoukoutas.
“There’s an obvious progression through from the NYL squad into the first team. For the club it’s great and from a personal standpoint it is even better because I know I can see a clear path.
“I can see the development and now it’s just time to really put the foot down and keep moving forward.”
Mourdoukoutas has represented Australia at under 20s and under 23s level and is in line to go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year with the Olyroos after being an integral of their qualification process.
It’s exciting times for the defender, who believes his experience with the national teams has helped him at the Wanderers.
“Yeah, the time away with the national teams obviously is always good, it’s always enjoyable. The Olympic Games is something special,” Mourdoukoutas added.
“To be in that squad would mean a lot to me, especially being with Keanu (Baccus), who is like a brother to me.
“We’ve come through together for the past couple of years now and to go over with him and the national team is something special. To go through that experience together is massive.
“I take a lot from going away with the national team to back here, like the intensity and the pride of wearing the jersey for both the national teams and the club.
“I want to win, I want to win games, I want to win trophies so that is why I am at the Wanderers and that’s why I am here for the next three years.”