Australian youth international Antonis Martis has signed his first professional European contract with Danish club FC Midtjylland after being part of youth team for the past two seasons.
Born in Larnaca in Cyprus and raised in Sydney, the 18 year-old was spotted by European scouts when captaining the Joeys at the AFC U16 Championships in 2016.
The then 16-year-old was given the chance to spend time on trial with English Premier League giants Manchester City and Tottenham but Martis opted to sign with Danish Super Liga Champions FC Midtjylland instead
The decision paid off and the central midfielder is now vice-captain of the U19 team and last year the teenager made his senior debut in a friendly.
Speaking to FTBL from his base in Europe, the midfielder spoke of his joy at signing his first professional football contract which will keep him at the club for the next five years.
“It’s definitely something special,” he said. “It’s a great feeling. It’s something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a young boy.
“It was a very proud moment and of course I was very happy – but I also knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy ride. This was just the beginning. I knew that a lot of sacrifices had to be made and it was going to be a long road.
“My most memorable moment was winning the U19 league last season – which led to the team qualifying for UEFA Youth League – and also making my debut with the first team at the age of 17.”
Growing up in Australia, Martis played his youth football with Sydney Olympic and Bankstown Berries before spending two years at the NSW Institute of Sport.
But he said the playing standard of European football was an eye opener. when he first started at FC Midtjylland.