Aussie goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis is hoping to secure a permanent contract for next season with Carlisle United after joining the League One club on a short-team deal.
Bouzanis has signed a three-month deal with Carlisle after being released by Greek side Aris. The former Olyroo, Young Socceroo and Joey made just two appearances for Aris since joining the Greek Super League side last year from Oldham Athletic.
"I was in Greece with Aris recently and things over there weren't so good, so I'm delighted to have the chance to play in England again," Bouzanis said.
"My agent knew there was an injury here so he put my name forward to Kav and I came in for a couple of days. It's all happened quite quickly after that. I obviously spent many years in England before I went to Greece and I want to say a big thank you to Kav and Tony Caig for giving me this chance.
"The three month deal gives me a real incentive to work hard and do as well as I can. Hopefully if I can do that I'll earn myself another deal for next season. I'll try my best for the club and for myself and keep my fingers crossed that will be enough.”
Bouzanis made 45 appearances for Oldham over two years before his departure to Greece.
"I signed at Oldham when Paul Dickov was there and it was all going well," he said. "The new management team came in and they had their own ideas. They brought in loan goalkeepers, and things like that, but these things happen in football and you just have to move on.
"It was disappointing, because I'd formed a good bond with Oldham, but there's nothing you can do.”
Bouzanis has been based in the UK, despite a short loan spell with Sydney FC, since joining Liverpool as a teenager in 2007. The Carss Park junior doesn’t regret his short-lived move to Aris but is happy to be back in English football.
"I was excited when I got the opportunity to go to Greece,” Bouzanis said. “Their top league is of a very good standard and there are some very good teams involved in it. There was interest from English teams but I wanted to give Greece a try because it's one of the top leagues in the world.
"There were Champions League and Europa League places up for grabs and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me. It didn't really work out over there but being in Greece made me see that England is the best place to be in terms of developing as a player. I have a lot of respect for Aris as a club and the fans were great with me, but it is nice to be back."
Bouzanis has yet to appear for Carlisle United and is providing competition to the club’s number one Greg Fleming.
"I always want to do my best and prove how good I am and it would be good to get the chance to do that while I'm here,” the 23-yeat old said. “League One is a good league, and this is a good club, so I would like to help them and show people what I'm about.
"I've already seen that this is a good bunch of lads and training is very intense. I don't think the club deserves to be in the position they're in at the moment because there's a lot of decent players here. I've seen a lot of determination from the lads this week and if they show that in the games then we'll start moving up the table very quickly."
The Cumbrians currently sit in 16th place in League One but are just three points above the relegation zone. Carlisle’s last game against Crawley was postponed and four days before that the club posted a 1-0 win over Bradford. Bouzanis is confident the Cumbrians can keep climbing the table.
“I was in a similar situation to the one we're in at the moment with Oldham last year,” he said. “It's tough and you've got to have a strong mind to make sure you can battle through it. Having worked with the lads for the past week I've seen a group who I believe are capable of getting out of this situation and moving us forward."
After five clubs in the past three years, Bouzanis is hoping to pin down regular football.
"I haven't really thought any further ahead than the three month deal," he insisted. "I just want to play as many games as I can and do as well as I can. If the opportunity did come up to talk about next season then it would definitely be something I'd consider. I feel like I've settled in already and I'm looking forward to getting started properly now.
"Trials can be difficult because you're obviously training without knowing if you're going to get a contract. I left home when I was 15 to go to Liverpool, which was hard, and then obviously I went over to Greece so I would like to get settled now.
"Football is all about performing when you're under pressure and moving around is all part of the job.”