The family-based dream inspiring Dimi Petratos every day
For Dimi Petratos, football is a family affair.
And the Newcastle Jets star only needs to go to training to catch up with several of his siblings.
That is because two of his younger brothers, Kosta and Makis, also play for the club, while one of his sisters, Pana, has a scholarship with Newcastle’s Westfield W-League team.
Football has always been about family for Petratos, who first played senior football in the same team as his father, Angelo, at Penrith Nepean and then Sydney Olympic.
And while he has already played for the Jets with Kosta, he is dreaming of the three brothers featuring in the same match.
“It was a dream of ours to play in the same team together,” he said.
“When we were younger, we were always like ‘oh, it would be so cool if we could all play on the same team’, try and get our little combinations and stuff, how we used to practice in the backyard.
"It is a dream for all of us … it would be amazing.”
Thanks to the coaching of his father, Dimi said the Petratos clan were brought up playing the game.
“My dad always had the ball, throwing me the ball, getting me to use both feet at a very young age,” he said.
“[Playing with him] was alright in the game, he just gave me positive information, but at training, he was a lot closer to me and there was a lot more breaks where he could explain more things to me.
“From day one he’s been there for me, so has my mother … they’ve [had] a big influence on my career.
“He [dad] had a very long career, he played for many years. For me, he was one of my heroes as well. He taught me so many things in my career.”
While Dimi has a football dream attached to family, another one of his long-held aims was to represent the Caltex Socceroos.
The 25-year-old attacker - who played for Sydney, Brisbane Roar and Korean side Ulsan Hyundai before joining the Jets - achieved the feat earlier this year after a brilliant Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season in which he scored 10 goals in 27 appearances.
And even though Dimi’s Australian debut came in a 4-1 defeat in Norway, he still describes the occasion as an amazing experience.
“I was very happy at the time,” he said.
“It was just a dream come true to represent your country. Personally, my own performance for a first game, it was okay."
Dimi also featured in a 4-0 friendly rout of Czech Republic and then sat on the bench for Australia’s three FIFA World Cup 2018 fixtures, with the time in camp giving him a real taste of what might be to come in the future.
“Of course, I want to get more game time and remain in the Socceroo camps and play more games,” he said.
For now, though, Dimi is focused on his own form and how he can help his younger brothers achieve their goal of playing together in the same side.
“At the stage they’re at, I was there and it wasn’t too long ago,” he said.
“So I try and tell them ‘okay, this is how it’s gonna be’ and ‘you’ve got to go through the hard times so you can come out the end with the good times as well’, but it’s part of football.
“You’ve just got to keep your head up and work hard. I try and give them as much information as possible.”
Three might be a crowd - but not in Dimi’s book.
You can watch Dimi Petratos in action when Newcastle Jets host Melbourne Victory on Saturday, November 3 at McDonald Jones Stadium - kick-off is at 7:50pm (AEDT). Click here to purchase tickets.