THEY say a change is a good as a holiday, and James Chronopoulos is a new man after his high profile move from Marconi Stallions to Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
Chronopoulos is newly married, a recent father, and beams with pride as he speak of the change he has gone through in the last handful of months. That he hasn’t received at least a chance in the Hyundai A-League is an ongoing folly that he is keen to rectify.
As for his move from the Stallions, the goalkeeper said simply that the time was right. Chronopoulos is trim and looks in career best shape.
"I think I played nearly 10 years of first grade there, and I started in the under 10s, so I thought it was the right time to move," he said.
"It’s the first time in my career I’ve been on a good, strict diet, and I’m working hard. I’ve tried to take it to the next level and step it up, hopefully it works."
The short move from Bossley Park to Bonnyrigg hasn’t fazed the shot stopper, who has long established himself as one of the competition’s premier glovemen.
It is no mean feat in a competition including Sydney Olympic’s Paul Henderson, Sydney United 58 FC’s Justin Pasfield and Sutherland Sharks’ Nathan Denham.
Nevertheless, moving on from the Stallions after 15 years was a tough decision, but one Chronopoulos insists he had to take.
"It was a tough decision," he said.
"It wasn’t that I’d had enough or that I didn’t rate the club anymore, I just had to make a move to better myself, I think.
"I’ve got nothing bad to say about the club, I still speak to the boys and mates will always be mates, but I thought the move to Bonnyrigg would be best for my career."
Chronopoulos has had to step into the sizeable shoes of Matthew Nash, who picked up an A-League contract at the Central Coast Mariners, and he has so far made a decent fist of things, conceding in only one game of three so far.
Chronopoulos said he has fitted in well to Brian Brown’s squad, and paid tribute to his goalkeeping coach, Jose Bello Amigo.
"I feel I fit in alright, I think they like me…. I hope they like me!" Chronopoulos laughed.
"In our team there are no egos, everyone gets along and everyone’s on one level. There’s nobody who thinks they’re better than someone else.
"I like it. I want to win titles. Obviously we won in 2012 with Marconi, but I want to win more titles and be part of a good team. I’ve got a great keeper coach, he’s a freak.
– by Matthew Lopez, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Editor