From his first training session everyone at Rept believed we might have uncovered a future superstar. Carlos Stack was one of the players who had signed up to our Adelaide showcase in November. The 19 year old from the Gold Coast had dreams of playing at a higher level, and it was easy to tell straight away that he was an athlete, but it was with the ball at his feet that he really shined.
At the final showcase game Carlos shone once more, with coaches and scouts from the clubs who had come to watch making enquiries about him, but after a talk with the Rept Management it was decided to take Carlos to Thailand, where we thought he had a good chance of earning a contract on our Bangkok Showcase.
True to form the young Australian’s performance in the land of smiles attracted the interest of reps at the game and he was offered a trial at Nakhonpathom United. Carlos’ ability and dedication led the Thai team to offer him a contract for the 2018 season.
We caught up with Carlos a couple of weeks into the season to see how his adventure is going.
Carlos, what had you been hoping for when you flew to Adelaide for the Australian Showcase?
I was hoping for opportunities to be invited into an NPL club, honestly I just wanted to impress because I know there was going to be big and important people watching.
What attracted you to trying out in Thailand when you obviously had options in the NPL?
Going to Thailand in my eyes was a pathway for my development as a person and a player. Although the NPL Is a fantastic standard, the teams are all part time. Being in Thailand, I am able to play professionally, full time everyday and have fantastic facilities to train on. At a young age I think it's important to be focused on improving each and everyday. In terms of character building, I've had to grow up quickly, being away from mum and dad, the football club has given me a house to stay in so this has helped me to be more independent.
How was your experience of the showcase in Bangkok?
The Bangkok showcase gave me an insight into how clubs in Thailand are ran , it gave me an idea of the standard of football out here and it was a great chance to see the kind of facilities that that I could expect at this level. Even if I hadn't got a professional contract I still had made some lifelong friends.
How did it feel when you knew there was interest in you?
It was a great feeling to know that a pro club was interested in me and wanted to invite me to join their club, and for me personally it gave me an extra bit of motivation to step it up another level.
Tell us about the trial at Nakhonpathom, how were your nerves that week?
My trial at Nakhonpathom was fantastic. To see the great facilities they have, from the training pitch, to the stadium and the team bus it was all quite overwhelming. It was a little intimidating at first going into preseason with my first full time club, I was very nervous to start but after a couple of sessions my confidence grew with every touch. It was tough but i could really tell I was learning a lot and improving at a rapid rate.
Signing your first pro contract must have been an incredible moment for you … how did you celebrate?
It was amazing to be able to tell my parents and family over the phone. I celebrated with a long call home. However getting the contract was just the start of things to come, the main task now is to become a regular starter, impress and hopefully catch the eye of the national team.
What is a typical day for you as a professional footballer?
6am I wake up with a coffee then 6:45 it's individual training at the gym or pitch until an 8am finish. Between 12pm and 2pm I grab a quick nap and then it's back at the training ground for 3pm ready to start team training for 4pm until 6pm. I grab a quick ice bath and do recovery until 7:30pm, grab a bite for dinner with the lads and then it's back home for a bedtime at 10pm. I'm very structured in my routine!
What’s your ambition now?
Become a regular in the first 11, impress the coaches and owners to earn the right attention to push on and earn another contract and eventually play for the national team.
What advice do you have for other players looking to turn pro?
From the outside looking in, you can't just want to be a footballer for the title, fame and money. In reality, it's hard work ... it's almost as if you have to have tunnel vision to want to be the best which means being willing to constantly learn and improve. You need to enjoy and love the game you play, it's an absolute privellage to get paid to play football, so it's not something you can go into half hearted. You need to be committed, be open-minded and be willing to make some sacrifices. It's takes a lot of mental strength and you can't give up or run away at the slightest bump. Persistence and consistency is key.
We'll keep you up to date with Carlos' journey throughout the season on our official Facebook page.
If you think you have what it takes to play pro football in Thailand then BOOK NOW for the May 2018 showcase by contacting us on WhatsApp on +66 908 965 420!
Photo Credit: Nakhonpathom United Official Facebook Page