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ALM: Stamatelopoulos lets his feet do the talking after big season for Jets

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Apostolos Stamatelopoulos is a man of few words.

That’s probably because he lets his feet – and head – do all the talking when he’s on the field.

The Newcastle Jets striker scooped the pool at the club’s end-of-season awards ceremony at Modus Brewery on Tuesday 30 April.

He edged out the ever-improving Kosta Grozos and keeper Ryan Scott for the A-League Men’s Player of the Year and backed up to claim the Craig Johnston Award.

His 17 goals, which broke Adam Taggart’s record, earned him the Golden Boot accolade, too.

Newcastle Jets’ Golden Boot Apostolos Stamatelopoulos. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

“I’m happy… but all credit goes to my teammates and coaching staff,” Stamatelopoulos said.

“Without them, I wouldn’t be here.

“I am also enjoying life away from the playing paddock… my wife Soffey and my little boy (who’s on the way) played a big role in my success, too.

“In the end, I just try to do my job every single day – that’s to score goals.”

Even though Newcastle finished in 10th spot on the ALM ladder, the side was far from disgraced in 2023/24.

The Jets registered six victories and 10 draws (the second most in the competition) while playing an exciting brand of football, which aided Stamatelopoulos up front.

“It felt good to break Adam’s mark, to be honest,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“Maybe, it was kind of wishful thinking on my part that I’d get close to snagging the Golden Boot.

“But, it’s great to secure that record and, hopefully, I’ll break it again next season.”

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos proudly displays his Player of the Year award. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

As for 2024/25, Stamatelopoulos is extremely optimistic.

While he’s keen to represent Australia at some stage, he also holds high hopes for Newcastle’s resurgence under coach Rob Stanton and his assistants.

“I don’t give too much away when it comes to personal ambitions… I’m a bit superstitious,” he said.

“However, everyone is positive about next year already.

“Finishing the season with the run we had (unbeaten in four out of five matches), it fills all of us with a lot of confidence.

“So, I think you can expect a lot from the Jets next year.

“We boasted a very young squad… a lot of things came down to managing the game and experience.

“Now that many of the boys have got that under their belt, I’m sure we’ll handle it differently.

“You saw how we performed at the back end of the season, two wins, two draws and a tight loss to the Central Coast Mariners.

“Hopefully, they can bring that experience into next year and we can win from the start.

“Honestly, I believe the back end of 2023/24 has proven to us that we can do it [compete against the best sides].

“There’s no reason we can’t win a premiership sooner rather than later.”

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos in action for the Newcastle Jets. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

As for rumours regarding his future, Stamatelopoulos is keen to stay in the Hunter.

“At the moment I’m contracted here,” he said.

“And, that’s where my head’s at.

“Over the next couple of months, we’ll go home (Adelaide) and catch up with family.

“Soffey and I haven’t been able to do a lot of that this season, so it’ll be good to see grandparents, parents, cousins, everyone and reconnect there.

“And, of course, welcome our firstborn.

“Then it’s back to training.

“I’ve said before in the media, I’m staying here and I’m not going to any other A-League club.

“My wife and I are settled… we like it in Newcastle.

“We like the coaching staff, all the players; we’re very happy.”

Meanwhile, Xavier Bertoncello was named the Emerging Jet, Scott secured the Members Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year went to a deserving Clayton Taylor.

Newcastle Jets 2023/24 award winners

  • A-League Women’s Golden Boot: Sarina Bolden
  • A-League Women’s Player of the Year: Sarina Bolden
  • A-League Women’s Young Player of the Year: Emma Dundas
  • A-League Women’s Members Player of the Year: Sarina Bolden
  • Emerging Jet – male: Xavier Bertoncello
  • Emerging Jet – female: Claire Adams
  • A-League Men’s Golden Boot: Apostolos Stamatelopoulos
  • A-League Men’s Player of the Year: Apostolos Stamatelopoulos
  • A-League Men’s Young Player of the Year: Clayton Taylor
  • A-League Men’s Members Player of the Year: Ryan Scott
  • Craig Johnston Award: Apostolos Stamatelopoulos
  • Cheryl Salisbury Award: Sarina Bolden

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