O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
Chicago is…Piraeus!

Chicago is…Piraeus!

Giannis Kosmas shares his insights on the Chicago Football School success story with olympiacos.org.

It was 6 years ago when the first Olympiacos School was established in the US and, in particular, in Chicago, Illinois! It’s the first Olympiacos School not situated in Greece or Cyprus and currently, 6 years down the road, one the Network’s most active and successful.

In the course of time, the School has also celebrated the US National title and has made many visits to Greece and Piraeus, its “home city”.

The School’s inspiratory and founders are Giannis and Angela Kosma; two people who love Greece, Olympiacos, and Piraeus and lead a happy and “red-and-white” life in faraway Chicago. Both their children, Christos and Panagiotis, spend their summertime as volunteers in the Olympiacos FC Summer Camp.

Giannis Kosmas talks to olympiacos.org about the School’s development and course, Olympiacos, his kids and also his dream. “For me, Olympiacos has been and still is nothing less than passion», he initially states. “I love using the word passion”, he continues, “as well as the words persuasion, determination and love. Passion stands for this powerful desire that can drive a person to amazing achievements. Being part of Olympiacos history and family is my lifetime’s dream that finally came true”.

The Chicago School made its first, timid steps back in 2011; however, with the help of Olympiacos, it currently ranks as one of US-based best school and runs teams that have excelled at a national level. What was the basis of this success? The Head of School replies: “I believe that, in order to deliver, you should build strong foundations by means of slow but steady steps. It also takes learning from your mistakes; believe me, you are bound to make many mistakes. If you try building faster, then you will not be able to correct your mistakes and you will have no time to do so. One step at the time, this is the best recipe. This is the plan we followed when we set out o build the Chicago School. Another important part has to do with the people that make up this School, and particularly the trainers. It means nothing having great staff or top facilities unless you have the right trainers to drive your product forward, which for us is the development and improvement of young football players. Trainers are the face of the School and they certainly have to fit in with the organization. I believe we have a blend of trainers who are aware of and understand the Olympiacos philosophy; they do demonstrate that on the pitch, during matches and in training”.

What are the dreams and goals of the Chicago School? Mr Giannis Kosmas is once again quick to answer: “Our big dream and objective has been to build the Olympiacos School. The Olympiacos people put their trust in us and we delivered. Now, as an integral part of our beloved Olympiacos, our aim is to promote football in Chicago and fill in the gap in proper football training that exists in the US. I believe we have achieved many things in a city, in a country where it is difficult to do so, since football here is not on a par with that in Europe or South America. Things would have been easier there. But, with the aid of Olympiacos, we made it”.

But what does Olympiacos offer to a School operating that far away from Greece? “Everything”, confidently replies Giannis Kosmas. He goes on: “Since day one, Olympiacos made us feel part of their family. I am saying so because this is the truth, not to make those people standing next to us on a daily basis feel better. We are part of the Olympiacos family and we can feel that from the people’s love and feedback. Olympiacos is every football player, every trainer and every fan. In Chicago, everybody knows Olympiacos and the kids in our School do love it and know the importance of putting on the red-and-white jersey. Olympiacos is always next to us. They support us by providing us with their knowledge and program. We are proud that are kids follow the Olympiacos program. We feel as if we are a Pireaus-based School, not a Chicago one. Chicago is…Piraeus”.

The School provides its services to hundreds of kids of various ages, originated from the US, Greece, Mexico, Colombia, Biosniua, Poland, Argentina, Panama and many other countries. Head of the trainer team is retired international player Nikos Mirtsekis, whoi recently visited the Holy Metropolis of Boston’s camp and met with Christian Karembeu.

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