Under-17s set for back-to-back titles bid
It is not a burden or a responsibility – at least it shouldn’t be – to “defend” a title in youth football. The dominant emotions should be about the joy of the game, the thirst for the best possible effort. Of course, championships have a winner’s philosophy. With this exact philosophy, then, PAOK faces AEK in the semi-final of the Under-17’s Final Four (Thursday 08.06 at 20:00, at the Panthessaliko Stadium) for a place in the final. Aris and Olympiacos will be battling it out to claim the other final ticket. The final will be held on Sunday 11.06 at 17:00.
Last year in the final which was also held in Volos, PAOK were crowned champions (the generation of 2005) beating Aris 2-0 in extra time with goals from Gitersos and Gouma. PAOK has four championships in the category (2013, 2016, 2020, 2022) to date, Olympiacos six (2010, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019) and one each for Panathinaikos (2009), Aris (2012) and Xanthi (2014).
It’s worth recalling that for the 2022-23 season, the Super League used a completely different format, largely satisfying the constant requests of many clubs for years. The new process, if nothing else, kept the interest alive until the final matchday, while giving room for more games and clearly more competitiveness.
From this championship, therefore, PAOK already won the ticket to the Final Four from the 1st phase, beating Olympiacos in the early «final» of Agrinio in November (2-1 with goals from Chatsidis and Tsobanis). The Double-headed Eagle already had nine wins in nine matches, with 27 goals scored and only five against. In the 2nd phase of the competition, PAOK finished first again with 41 points (28 for Aris) and ended up with a record of 13 wins, two draws and three losses. They scored 34 goals and conceded 13. In total, this season PAOK scored 61 times and conceded 18 goals. The biggest away win was in Lamia (6-0) and the biggest triumph at home was against Levadeiakos (5-0).
The second ticket from the northern group went to the runner-up of the championship, Aris, while in the southern group, Olympiacos won the first place and AEK the second through the play-off process.
Regarding our squad, top in appearances with 25 in number, were Kesidis, Papageorgiou and Tsobanis, followed by Panikidis, Vryzas, Karaioannou and Polykratis with 21 and Kalaitsidis with 20 matches. Top scorer is Chatzidis with ten goals, followed by Vryzas and Politakis with eight, Kalaitsidis with seven, then Mythos and Tsobanis with four goals. Also, in the overall list of the league with the most goals scored by a football player in one match, Chatzidis has first place with the four goals he scored in the PAOK-Levadiakos match.
Titleholders PAOK participated in the championship using the generation of players born in 2006, who had made up the Under-16 team in the 2021-22 season. Some of these youngsters also participated in last year’s Under-17s (so they were also crowned champions), while they already also belong to the Under-19 squad, too. Also, a few younger ones (2007), took part in the championship and are included in the Final Four squad. Obviously, several of these footballers are already internationals for Greece.
The Under-17 of the 2022-23 season, therefore, consists of the following players:
Goalkeepers: Anastasios Sevastidis, Vasilios Tsintsolis, Evangelos Katsaros, Efstathios Beleris
Defenders: Georgios Koupenos, Tryfon Kalioglou, Georgios Telos, Georgios Kosidis, Konstantinos Vyrsokinos, Konstantinos Polykratis, Efstathios Panikidis, Panagiotis Tsitskas, Pavlos Tsiotas, Alkibiadis Avrampos, Konstantinos Arvanitis
Midfielders: Maksymilian Sznaucner, Konstantinos Hatzigavriel, Marios Kalaitsidis, Loizos Papadimitriou, Georgios Karaperis, Vasilios Papageorgiou, Georgios Sapanis, Konstantinos Karaioannou, Antonio Zoubi
Forwards: Stefanos Tzimas, Iordanis Kesidis, Grigorios Politakis, Dimitrios Chatzidis, Marios Mylonas, Georgios Bakas, Emmanuel Tsobanis, Athanasios Ziogas, Konstantinos Vryzas.
Coach: Petros Tsiapakidis
Assistant coach: Ebenezer Hagan
Fitness coach: Mert Isbilir
Goalkeeping coach: Dimitris Krionas
Video analyst: Alecandros Theodoridis
Team doctor: Iraklis Giannaros
Physiotherapist: Vasilis Pouloubis
Minder: Ioannis Klagas
- In the event of a draw, extra-time and then penalty kicks will decide the winner, only for the final. There is no extra-time in the semi-finals, the matches will go straight to a penalty shoot-out in the event of a draw.
- 494 footballers competed in the league this season. 321 were born in 2006, 164 in 2007 and nine were born in 2008.
- The matches will be broadcast live via Novasports channels, via the WEB TV channel of Novasports.gr as well as via the Novasports channel on YouTube. The matches will also be shown live on the official Super League website and the official Super League Twitter account. They will also be shown by the following channels: SportKlub (in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia) and Diema Sport (Bulgaria).