Meet the Coaches: John Laloussis

Can you introduce yourself please:

Hi, I’m John. I have performed open-heart surgery, I have played Hamlet, and I have spoken with Elvis. Alright, only two of those points are true. I joined MUSC as a player in 2013 and over the years have become a passionate supporter of the club. I can genuinely say, except for the Socceroos, it is the only club a barrack for.

Why did you choose to coach for the Melbourne University Soccer Club?

To help out our club as there was a shortage of coaches. Although I enjoyed playing the beautiful game, during my journey as a player I found that a dedicated coach can add another dynamic to a team. So I decide to solely focus on coaching to help our players unlock their potential and create an enjoyable playing experience.

What do you feel are the main benefits of coaching for MUSC?

It is a dynamic environment with an enormous untapped potential. We have a wonderful and diverse group of young and experienced adults at the club that are interested in self-improvement. As a coach, especially as a beginner, there are multiple opportunities to start your journey coaching with over 10 adult teams. Thus you can start with a team at a lower division and progress as you gain experience.

Has there been a favourite season at MUSC, if so why?

As a coach, 2019 was an enjoyable season. As part of the MUSC Men’s State 4 set-up, I had pleasure of working with Marco Palacio and George Traikovski. Not only did we improve as a team and as a coaching unit, but the banter from the dugout was the highlight of most weekends.

Has there been a standout player you have coached at MUSC?

There are a few, but I have enjoyed seeing the development of James “Jimmy” Xu, which we would like to replicate for other players and fast track their progress such Jack Wood, Riley Kirkland, Nathan Scott, etc. Back to Jimmy, he started in Vic Soccer (2016), progressed to Metropolitan 1 (2017), State 5 (2018), Varsity (2019) and an anticipated debut for
State 4 in 2020 – ok let’s say 2021.

Who is your coaching idol i.e. who do you find inspiration from?

I’m too old to have idols, but I can say our football philosophy is heavily inspired by Julian Nagelsmann and Antonio Conte. Our ambition is for our
players to experience the coaching techniques and principles implemented in elite teams. And allow our players the opportunity to replicate and play the game like some of their idols.

How would you describe your coaching style?

As a football coach or as a manager at work, I try to help people achieve the transformation they desire. By providing a framework and the tools required to break down the subtle barriers that hold players or people back. Also I discovered the meaning of life years ago, but forgot to write it down.

Do you have a particularly memorable moment relating to your coaching experience?

In 2017, mid-season the MUSC Men’s Metro 1 team surprised me with a bottle of Johnnie Walker XR 21 for the birth of my daughter. A very touching gesture and a great representation of the amazing culture at our club.

How do you prepare for a match on gameday/do you have any quirky pre-match rituals?

For home games, a lovely cup of coffee prepared by Stu kicks off the day in the best way possible. For away games, squeezing players in a small Civic, listening to tunes and getting to know each other better.

Besides soccer, do you have any other hobbies or passions?

“Yeah,” replying through my mask, “recently I took up ventriloquism. I’m pretty good; notice how you can’t see my lips moving.”

Are you interested in joining our coaching team? Find out how to become a coach at MUSC:

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