Former Sydney FC player and youth international George Timotheou has signed a deal with German outfit FC Schalke U23s after a successful two-week trial
The 20-year-old left-footed centre back gave credit to NPL side Sydney Olympic for opening the door on the overseas opportunity.
Timotheou joined Olympic after being released by the Sky Blues at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
He described the latest opportunity as “one of the happiest days of my life so far.”
Timotheou was born and bred in Canberra. His big break came when he was awarded a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for 16 months.
During this period, he played in the National Youth League against other A-League youth teams and National Premier League.
Then in 2014, he was offered a chance to be part of Sydney FC’s academy set up. The Canberra born youngster admitted it was a difficult experience to move away from home as a teenager.Timotheou’s dad, Chris, was born in Wollongong and his mum Donna is from the regional NSW town of Yass. His grandparents from his father’s side come from the villages of Politiko and Peraorinis in central Cyprus near Nicosia, while his grandparents from his mother’s side come from Edessa in northern Greece.
Even though he is second generation Greek Australian, Timotheou is close to his Greek roots and says his family’s support has been vital in his football career.
“My dad got me started, he coached me with all the basics, and continues to be an honest source of advice when I need it,” he says.
“I cannot begin to describe how much my family have helped me to get to where I am today. They have made many sacrifices for me and I will never be able to repay what they have done for me. I love my Greek heritage, food, music, dancing and culture. As a toddler, I was bi-lingual. I went to a Greek-Australian pre-school and Greek afternoon schools to learn the basics and I was also part of the Hellenic Club dancing groups for many years”.