Demetriou weighs up his future

Out of contract Australian striker James Demetriou is weighing up whether to return to Australia next season to join the A-League or to stay in Europe.

Demetriou, currently on loan to National League South club Wealdstone FC, has spent four years in the UK in the youth set-ups of Nottingham Forest and then Swansea City.

The 20-year old has been hampered by injury in the past but is fit and eager for game-time now and to break into senior football.

Demetriou confirmed to FourFourTwo he will be leaving Swansea City at the end of the season.

“I’m still weighing up where the best move is at the moment,” he said.

“We’re looking at the A-League, a club’s come in from Ireland, League One and League Two clubs. There’s also some interest from Greek and MLS clubs. We won’t really know anything closer to the summer. I am open.

“If the right offer comes up in Australia where I’m going to be playing and getting regular game-time in the position that I want to play, then that’s something we’ll look at.

“But in the meantime we’ve already had solid offers from in the UK. It would be good to stay in the UK but I think now, I’m turning 21 this year, literally the most important thing for me is to be playing games, men’s professional football.”

The centre forward, from the Sydney suburb of Vaucluse, was a junior with Sydney Olympic before heading to the UK at 16. Demetriou has been loaned to sixth tier side Wealdstone FC for the next two months to ensure regular game-time.

“Because I’ve been out for a while the most important thing for me was game-time and the club decided the same thing,” he said.

“They wanted to send me somewhere where it was going to be physical, competitive and I was going to be playing every single week without worrying if I had to perform in training.

“It’s a bit of a wake-up call, coming from two big clubs. But it’s definitely more competitive and you know that, you’re playing for points and for people’s jobs. Where as in Under-21s football you can go in and just work on development. 

“I’m taking it to the next step where I’m playing for points, the fans, for coaches’ jobs. It’s a lot more difficult, from my point of view it was something that I really needed because I’ve been feathered with the Under-21s and youth football for almost three/four years now.

“It’s something I’ve been looking to do for a while now but through injuries it’s been a while.”

Demetriou said coming from Under-21s Premier League football the standard of the National South League has been an eye-opener.

“There’s been some massive challenges but that’s something I needed,” he admitted. 

“Teaching how to handle myself at men level rather than 18, 19, 20 year olds. Touch wood I’m feeling good. I’ve been injury free for most part of this season. But now I’m just starting to hit my stride. It’s taken me a while to get back to full fitness.

“I’ve hit the floor running at Wealdstone so hopefully I can string a few good games together before the end of this season and put myself in a good position for next season.”

Demetriou’s agent, Dan Fletcher, is confident the centre forward has the talent to be a goal-scoring asset.

“Ever since I first saw James play as a 16 year-old, I've believed in him and his ability,” Fletcher said.

“We've had our ups and downs a long the way, but it's made us stronger, I've been a surrogate dad to him while he's been away from his family.  

“James needs to play men's football now, week in week out, development football is a waste of time at his age, one thing I'm sure of though, is that if someone believes in him and gives him a chance, he will repay that faith in goals.

“We have an exciting summer ahead.”