Nikita Varelas: Rising up the ranks

Nikita Varelas has only ever known Box Hill United, joining the Club when he was just 10 years old. Since then, has risen up the ranks to be the Senior Men’s Deputy Captain and a vital piece to the Pythagoras attack.

Varelas has managed to persist through many obstacles early on, where he became a key goal scorer in the u21’s before transitioning seamlessly into the senior team.

Going into an important 2024 campaign, Varelas touched on how Head Coach Tony Merakis has focused on the Club’s culture and togetherness in the pre-season gone by, to help improve the team’s chances of on-field success.

“It’s been a very united pre-season, with a lot of hard work and cohesiveness where I just feel we bonded so quickly and so early that by when the season starts, we will hit the ground running,” Varelas explained.

“We went on a nice trip away which was great for everyone to get to know each other on a more personal level – we had such a fun time and enjoyed each other’s presence.”

Varelas added that in a way, he and Nick Weller were pioneers in the way they progressed through the Club’s grades to reach regular first team member status, showcasing to the current junior crop just how possible it is.

“It’s quite fulfilling to see that – when I made it through the ranks, Nick Weller and I were pretty much the first to do so but now we see younger players come through who are doing really well,” Varelas said.

“Luke Pickett and Alex Tektonopoulos are examples of this and it’s finally coming full circle for the Club. We have more young players coming through and they’re such good boys, good players and there’s a real bright future at the club.”

Box Hill United have a very clear and direct pathway from Miniroos to the seniors that a few players have demonstrated is possible. Varelas laid out the blueprint for success within the Club for the current group of juniors to follow.

“If you work hard and keep at it, go through reserves for a year or two and play well there, then you get opportunity to train with the seniors, and you will get opportunities,” he explained.

“If you take those chances, you’re in the squad and fighting for starting 11 which is what everyone else is doing so it’s a great pathway.”

Nikita Varelas and Nick Weller on the Wembley Park stand.

The club’s values of ‘Attitude is Everything’ and togetherness have created a culture that is welcoming and inviting for players. In his long tenure at the Club, Varelas expressed his gratitude at the club and the way the community have treated him.

“It’s special to me because I’ve been here since I was 10,” he said.

“I love everyone at the Club and everyone that puts in the hard work and time to make the team work and make the wheels go round.

“I love the sense of community and enjoy spending time with everyone.

“With that, if we want to achieve a goal which is obviously to get promoted to NPL2 and win the league, I think it’s great to do that with such amazing people.”

Written by Theo Athans