Peter Skouras-Apprenticeship Mattered

Peter Skouras-Apprenticeship Mattered

ES: What is expected of an apprentice in terms of duties and such, and how were you treated as an outsider.

PS: An Apprenticeship consists of everyday custodial work in and around the ground, cleaning of professional’s boots, baths and dressing rooms. Training is with the first team/reserves and matches are with the youth and reserve teams. The main element which in contrast to the United States is that, it’s a full-time environment from morning till evening. If you do not meet the grade you will be released. As an outsider, at first it was a bit difficult, however, if you can do it on the pitch, all is well and you can earn the respect of the others quite quickly.

ES: So many people right now are adamant for a quick results society instead of paying your dues be it in school, work, or athletic pursuits, right?

PS: Absolutely, and I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing your role, and accepting the natural process of growth. Do all you can to learn your craft, or be a better student. Put all the expectations of what you think you deserve by the wayside, and let your actions speak loudly of your performance.

ES: What is like to be part of the Club that is the most successful in American soccer history? The San Diego Sockers. What do you remember most about the Championship seasons?

PS: Lots of good players, much pressure to win and nothing else...and very few North Americans which saddened me, but I was still proud to be a part of.

ES: You played with and against some of the most historic players in Soccer, if not some of the Greatest. What are your immediate thoughts on players like Pele, Best, Cubillas, Beckenbauer, Marsh, Eusebio, and of course your own teammate Kaz Deyna.

PS: Firstly, fantastic egos, no hang-ups simply, very helpful and humble. God given Talent! Simply magic !!! The things that they could perform not only in practice, but in real match conditions were amazing.

ES: What was it that made them better than the rest?

PS: Exposure to the world class arena in their countries. The training and games that they were brought up with was far different than what we had/have in this country. Professionalism was drilled into them at such an early age to respect their craft, and the history of the game that came before them.

ES: General training advice for someone who dreams to be a professional Athlete or for that matter a successful member of the business community.

Keep dreaming

Emulate your favorite player/mentor yet develop your own style

Work hard in training or in studying your profession

Stay away from vices like drug and alcohol

Avoid negative people in your surroundings

ES: Explain the stadium atmosphere at a derby like Olympiakos vs the perennial powers and rivals AEK or Panathinaikos.

PS: You need to block it out because it is incredibly need to focus on the field and nothing else, but unfortunately it just doesn’t happen that way. In a derby (rival) week there is so much pressure on a player, especially a young one, who’s just trying to get a place in the team. There is a bonus structure for being part of the listed squad for the game that weekend, so everyone wants to be included. Then comes the pressure in training to prove you belong there over another player, and the desire to get in that rival game and prove yourself. The week of a rival game, the city is buzzing, and the players can feel it all around them. Training sessions have a bigger crowd, and the press is all over every move that’s being made. It’s great when finally the Saturday comes, and the squad is locked up at a hotel for the concentration & focus to begin for the Sunday game.

ES: Tell about the story of when you drove all over one night in the car seeking out a contract before the deadline passed.

PS: Actually, prior to coming to Olympiakos I was the property of Karlsruhe Sport Club in the Bundesliga via the Sockers and the NASL which folded. I was not ready for that sort of level especially as a foreign player and they left it till the last moment to allow me to find another club...I flew to Greece and while only 72 hours remained...of course I signed with Olympiakos, however, Karlsruhe asked for a transfer fee.

ES: What can you advise in terms of being prepared to face the pitfalls of becoming a professional at such an early age in things like being in another country, how to treat your body (eating, drinking, and rest etc...) how to deal with outside detractions like media and fans, and how does it relate to the business world or maybe a student who wants to study abroad

PS: Soccer-wise it is very difficult for a young American to go abroad and be a player of impact simply because he does not get the training here in the United States compared to that of Europe, although recently we have seen some success. Be prepared to sit on the bench, being harassed on the field and simply being tested on a daily basis. For the other examples since our education is offered at a pretty good level here in the USA, chances are you will be adequately prepared to handle those high-pressure situations that I mentioned before in proving yourself to the doubters, but instead of being left on the bench, you might just have to deal with being left out of a meeting

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