Govas: Katsouranis as big as Gerrard and Lampard
Katsouranis, a former Greek World Cup captain, is in Australia to play in a one-off game for Heidelberg against Melbourne City on Tuesday night in the FFA Cup Quarter Finals.
Govas, who played in Greece for many seasons, says the presence of the Greek legend at his first training session created a vibrant atmosphere.
“Everyone is buzzing and everyone in the club was absolutely ecstatic when he trained with us. I’ve never seen the team train so hard in my life,” he said.
“We are actually saying that we might get a cut out of David Beckham and stick it up on the side of the pitch because it seems to motivate all the players when you have a real big professional coming and being part of the session.
“When I explain to some of my teammates how big of a signing Katsouranis is I compare him to Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard of England.
"He’s got over 100 caps for Greece he’s pretty much been the captain of every club he’s played for, including Benfica, so he’s an absolute massive signing.”
Govas, 26, has been playing in the NPL Victoria for the past two seasons. He was at Portsmouth when he was 17 - a time when the club was riding high in the English Premier League.
From Pompey he moved around various Greek clubs but during his seven seasons in Europe injuries curtailed the midfielder’s career.
Govas has previously trialled with Melbourne Victory and his coach at Heidelberg, George Katsakis, considers him one of the top players in the Victorian NPL.
“To go across to England at such a young age and sign a two year deal with Portsmouth just doesn’t come out of luck - you need to earn that,” Katsakis said.
“He brings a lot of experience and is a high profile player at this level. His thinking capacity going forward is absolutely tremendous.
"Especially the passing in that last third usually contributes to most of our goals being scored. He is two or three steps ahead of everyone.
“He has definitely brought international football experience into our squad. He is also a set piece specialist. Some of the set pieces he contributed for us this season is amazing."
Govas is hopeful the team’s tactics will be able to counter Melbourne City’s superior fitness on Tuesday night and produce an upset.
“We are very positive about possibly getting a result based on how we have performed this season and also how we’ve been training for the last few weeks,” he said.
“Being a former professional player there is not much difference between the NPL and the A-League in the quality of the players. The main difference of course is the professionalism and the full time training.
"The way that we are going to combat that is trying to be a bit tighter and organised and hopefully try and stop Melbourne City from having the possession of the ball.”