Katsouranis a class above, says Heidelberg captain

Greece international Kostas Katsouranis has already impressed his new Heidelberg United team-mates ahead of their FFA Cup quarter-final against Melbourne City.

The 36-year-old trained with the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Victoria club for the first time on Thursday night.

Katsouranis, part of Greece's Euro 2004-winning squad, has signed with Heidelberg on a guest stint for their meeting with City.

Bergers captain Luke Byles said the 116-time international's talent was evident in training.

"He took it relatively easily, but you can see the class," Byles told FourFourTwo. "His ability, above everyone else, is second to none. 

"We've got another couple of sessions before we play.

"He's very excited, he's looking forward to it and I think if we get him enough of the ball, he's going to be a very special player for us.

"You never know what might happen on the night."

Katsouranis trains with the team. Photo by Heidelberg United

Heidelberg are eyeing a huge upset on Tuesday night when they host City at Olympic Village in the cup quarter-finals.

Now out-of-season, Byles said the focus in training had shifted.

"The training has been a lot shorter and sharper," he said.

"(We've been) working on more high-intensity stuff, closing down, trying not to turn over the ball as much as perhaps maybe we'd normally do in a normal game, although we never like to turn the ball over.

"We know playing an A-League outfit, should we lose the ball cheaply against them, it's going to be a little while before we see the ball again.

"Not only that, we're going to have to work twice as hard to get it back. We've been working on certain little aspects of our game which we believe will help us against a full-time outfit."

Who wants it most? Photo by Heidelberg United

While the addition of Katsouranis is a huge coup, Heidelberg will be without prolific striker Dan Heffernan, who has joined Central Coast Mariners.

Byles said the 28-year-old's departure was a huge loss, but he hopes Kaine Sheppard and Kenjok Athiu can deliver.

"We've got players that can quite easily step up and they're going to be given the opportunity," he said.

"Obviously Kaine Sheppard has been really good for us this season. He'll probably play in that Heffernan role, as opposed to maybe slightly wider. He'll probably play as a more central player.

"He'll do equally as good a job. He's been looking really sharp at training, he's been finishing well.

"We've got Kenny as well, and he's another player who's also very unique and there's not many of those in our league.

"He's quite awkward, he's tall, he's quick, he's good in the air, he's quite tricky, he can add something later on perhaps in the game should he not start and obviously fresh legs coming on later on.

"He'd be the last person you want to see coming on and running at you at added pace."

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