LCF Corner with Dean Bouzanis

Melbourne City Goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis can best be summarised in three words: disciplined, driven and focused. Dean, a product of the NSW Institute of Sport, was launched into the headlines in 2007, when legendary Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez stated that he rated Dean the best goalkeeper in the world for his age.
Bouzanis then spent the following four years playing at Liverpool; which included loan spells at Sydney FC andAccrington Stanley. Dean then moved on to Oldham Athletic, Aris FC (Greece), Carlisle United, Western Sydney Wanderers and now currently represents Melbourne City FC.


Dean Bouzanis playing for Melbourne City in the Hyundai A-League in 2016

LCF: Do you have any specific rituals when preparing for training or matches?
DB: On game days I eat meals at certain times depending on the time of kick off. I always have the same breakfast – Bircher Muesli and a coffee, and I will drink at least a litre and a half of water throughout the day. This is something I have done for years which ensures that I feel at my best during the game.
LCF: Tell us 3 of your best tips for young goalkeepers.
– No matter the obstacle that presents itself, never give up and maintain a positive and strong mentality to get through it.
– Try to play as many games as possible to get the exposure, experience and game time under your belt.
– Always review your mistakes so you can learn what to improve next time.
LCF: Who was your biggest influence?
DB: My parents were massive in my development as a youngster trying to make it. The endless amounts of driving and time they put in for me to fulfil my dreams is something I am extremely grateful of.
LCF: Take us through how you went from being in the NSWIS to Liverpool FC?
DB: I was playing regularly at the age of 15 for my New South Wales premier league side in the first division. An agent noticed me and organised trials. Through hard work and determination I was lucky enough to earn a deal at Liverpool.
LCF: What was the most important thing you took away from your experience at Liverpool?
DB: Seeing how world class players like Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez work, train and maintain their daily lifestyle is something that has helped me massively. There professionalism is second to none and that is was separates them from everybody else. It’s the little one percenters that make that difference, there are no short cuts.

LCF: Best player you’ve played with/against?
DB: Best player I have played with and against has to be either Luis Suarez or Steven Gerrard. I was lucky enough to to share the same changing room as them, and also to knock LFC out of the FA Cup while I was at Oldham. Playing with both of them was something special too.
LCF: Best Coach/Goalkeeper Coach you’ve ever worked with?
DB: Would have to be Xavi Valero, Rafael Benitez has him as his goalkeeper coach at every club he go
es too.
LCF: Rafael Benitez was once quoted as saying that you are “the best young goalkeeper in the world”. How did it feel when you heard that and did it motivate you to work harder?
DB: It’s something special to hear those words from such a huge manager, and it definitely spurred me on to continue working hard and trying and fulfil my dreams of becoming a professional footballer at the highest level.
LCF: Have you thought much about life after football? Will you get into coaching or look at something else?
DB: Yes coaching is something I enjoy and will definitely be interested in doing after football. I feel I have a wide range of knowledge in the game having worked with high profile and vastly experienced players and managers, to be able to pass on my experiences to others would mean a lot to me.

LCFTell us about your experience in A-League so far, how does it compare to Europe?
DB: The A-League I feel is coming on leaps and bounds. The standard is quiet high and it is a real stepping stone for players to fulfil their dreams of playing overseas. I have had some great memories already since coming back to the A-League so hopefully there will be many more to come.
LCF: You moved to Melbourne City at the start of last season, tell us a bit about the year that was.
DB: Melbourne City is a huge club with massive aspirations. It’s one that I am very happy to be a part of because it’s a club that demands success and hard work. Working alongside Tommy Sorensen is great as I am learning and improving my game constantly with somebody who has such vast experience in the game. I couldn’t be happier.
LCF: Any advice for young aspiring footballers?
DBThere will be many ups and downs, more downs than anybody expects. To become a professional you must have a positive and strong mentality. That is half the battle. Your talent can only take you so far but with a strong mentality and hard work the sky is the limit!
LCF: Can you tell us a-bit about The Life of A?
DB: The LIFE of A  is my clothing label that I am doing outside of football to keep myself busy. I have always taken an interest in fashion so to be able to do it in my spare time with friends is awesome.
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