New keeper hoping to make World Cup
Chris Lakey New City keeper Michael Theoklitos can use his first season between the sticks at Carrow Road as an audition for the greatest show on earth - the World Cup.
New City keeper Michael Theoklitos can use his first season between the sticks at Carrow Road as an audition for the greatest show on earth - the World Cup.
With luck - and that means a successful time in City colours - the only problem will be choosing which country to play for.
Theoklitos has dual citizenship so Australia, the home of his birth, or Greece, are his choices - although it's clearly a case of first things first before he considers a trip to the finals in South Africa next year.
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“I've been involved in a few Socceroo camps,” he said. “I haven't played as yet so it's one of those things I will have to consider. I have the dual citizenship and when the time comes I am sure I will make the right decision, but in the meantime it's about concentrating on playing football and playing to the best of my ability for Norwich City.
“This is a new chapter in my life. With the World Cup next year there are a lot of games coming up, so it's a matter of getting myself right, playing to the best of my ability and those things will come.”
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Theoklitos may have international ambitions, but it's perhaps something that Gunn could do without as he considers the prospect of losing a player.
“Michael's international destination has not been decided yet and that's something he as an individual needs to decide in the not too distant future,” said Gunn.
“I would expect that if it's Australia, I know in the past they have had a number of games in Europe anyway. If it's Greece it will be a European destination.
“That is, I suppose, one of the downsides of losing your goalkeeper at different periods, but that will be down to his success on the pitch that he gets picked.”
Theoklitos follows a well-worn path across the world, one which Australia's number one Mark Schwarzer proved is worth taking.
“Mark Schwarzer has done very well here, over 10 years,” said Theoklitos. “He's 36 years old and still going very well, and he's one of those I look up to and aspire to.
“It's something I have always wanted to do, be here in the UK, the home of football and aspire to play and do well here, and I am just thrilled to bits to be involved in this great club, Norwich City. I can't wait to get started.”
Theoklitos' career began with Bulleen Inter Kings in Victoria in 1998 before spells at Bulleen Zebras and South Melbourne, before moving to New Zealand side Football Kingz in 2001. He made 20 appearances before moving to Blackpool in 2002, although his hopes of cracking the English scene were ended after three games because of injury.
He rejoined Bulleen Zebras where his performances earned him a move to Melbourne Victory for their inaugural season in the
Theoklitos was A-League goalkeeper of the year for 2007 and helped Victory win two doubles and, last year, the treble.
He has twice been called up to the Australia national squad but has yet to make an appearance.
t Tickets for City's first home match of the season, against Colchester on Saturday, August 8 (3pm), will first go on sale to the club's super members at 9am on Monday, July 13.
They will then be available to season ticket holders and members from 9am on July 20, and then on general sale one week later from 9am on July 27. The match will be a Grade B game.