Five minutes with: Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo

Michael Theo was 18 before he had any specialised goalkeeper coaching. He was also late catching on to Game Of Thrones. But he's very focused and disciplined, so he knows how to make up for lost time.

Michael Theo

Theo at full stretch against Melbourne Victory Source: Getty Images

TWG: You've got your own coaching academy. How long has that been going now?

MT: I've had the Michael Theo Soccer Academy for six years now and it's not just for goalkeepers, it's for outfield players as well. I'm actively involved along with my coaches and it's something I thoroughly enjoy. Mentoring the next generation of footballers is very fulfilling. It's fantastic to be able to give back and try to teach kids some skills and help give them the tools they need to be successful in whatever they do.

TWG: What do you tell a 15-year-old kid who is desperate to be a goalkeeper and shows promise at the position?

MT: Mainly to work hard and enjoy what you're doing. Your attitude has to be spot on and you have to believe in yourself. If you don't believe in yourself then no-one else will. I never really had any goalkeeper coaching until I was 18 and that was one of the reasons I started my academy. You need to start learning from a young age and keep developing your skill set. Attitude is a massive thing, because you see so many players who have unbelievable talent but don't make it because they aren't prepared to make the sacrifices.

TWG: You've won a record five A-League championships, three with Brisbane Roar and two with Melbourne Victory. Where do you keep your medals?

MT: Oh, gee, I've misplaced a couple of them over the years, but I've since got them all together with the jerseys and gloves I wore and had a few of them framed. These are the things you play for and they're great memories and somewhere down the track when I retire I'll look back fondly on my career.

TWG: It's a proud record. Have you ever thrown it in an opponent's face if they're sticking it you, or are you pretty humble?

MT: No, I think of myself as a humble person. I've never been one to boast about achievements - they speak for themselves anyway. Of course I'm proud of it, playing in five grand finals and winning all five, that's what you want to do, win the big trophies, but I consider myself very fortunate. I'm very grateful, but I'm also determined to win another one.

TWG: I understand you're not the only high achiever in the Theo household though.

MT: That's right. My wife, Victoria, runs her own cosmetics company, the Curtis Collection. Look it up on the internet, the products are available all over Australia and there are some distributors in New Zealand as well. She has done a tremendous job.

TWG: Do you have plans to start a family?

MT: Yeah, definitely. It's just a timing thing. I've had time to focus on my football and Victoria on starting up her business and now it's a good time to think about starting that next chapter. Victoria is a few years younger than me, so we've still got plenty of time.

TWG: When you get a rare day off from football, how do you switch off?

MT: I try to help out my wife with her business when I can and we mentor each other a bit in terms of our professions and get a bit of a different perspective that way. Apart from that, we like to go for walks to relax. We like to keep busy, in a good way.

TWG: Are you a moviegoer, a music lover, an avid reader, all of the above, or none at all?

MT: Not so much movies, but Victoria and I don't mind getting into a television series when we can. We love our Game Of Thrones. A lot of the boys were telling me about it and we finally downloaded it and quickly became addicted. We watched six seasons of it in four weeks. Music - I'm all over Spotify these days. I like a bit of everything. Saves me from having to listen to Corey Brown's play-list all the time, which is pretty horrendous. Sometimes I'll put my song library on in the change-room.

TWG: What's the most beautiful place in the world you've visited?

MT: That's a tough question. We loved New York, it's a fantastic city, but it's obviously pretty full-on. We went to Spain as well, which we loved, and you can't beat going back to Greece. The Greek Islands are pretty fantastic. Greece is definitely a great place for a holiday.

TWG: Finally, from all that you've learned, what is the best advice you could give someone about football and/or life?

MT: Stay true to yourself, always give 100 per cent and believe in yourself. It has stood me in good stead. Don't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. They come as part and parcel of the job, so you can't get too carried away. You're only as good as your last game, so you've always got to stay focused.

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
4 min read
Published 29 December 2016 at 1:12pm
By Greg Prichard