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Stanley "Stan" Lazaridis (born 16 August 1972) is a former football (soccer) player. He was predominantly a left winger though he had been known to perform at left-back. He last played for his home-town club, Perth Glory and made 58 official appearances for Australia and was called up to the Australian 2006 FIFA World Cup squad though he never played in Germany.

Club career

His reputation as a young left-footed teenager began with Olympic Kingsway where, despite his age, he intimidated many a defender with his change of pace.[1]

Lazaridis made his senior debut for West Adelaide Hellas in the Australian National Soccer League in the 1992 season. His dribbling ability and pace drew much attention on the Australian scene. At the end of the 1995 season he earned a move to Europe when West Ham manager Harry Redknapp encountered Lazaridis playing for West Adelaide during West Ham's pre-season tour of Australia in May, 1995.[2] Signed for £300,000 a poor debut and consistent injury problems made his debut season difficult when he made only six appearances.[3] He scored his first goal for West Ham in a 1-1 away draw with Wimbledon on 18 March 1997.[3] Over four seasons, Lazaridis, played just 87 games for West Ham United and scored three goals.[3] In 1999 he dropped a division to sign for Birmingham City when manager Trevor Francis signed him in a deal worth an eventual £1.7million.[4] Settling much better at St Andrew's, he played an important role in guiding the team up to the Premiership for the 2002–03 season. While at Birmingham he played in the 2001 Football League Cup Final.

Following promotion (and despite a raft of new signings) Lazaridis remained a regular player for the Blues, scoring the winner against local rivals Aston Villa in March 2003 and a classic goal against Everton in February 2004. After seven successful years at Birmingham City, in which he had become a fan favourite, Lazaridis was released at the end of the 2005–06 season after making 222 appearances for the club. He then looked to finish his career in Australia with A-League club Perth Glory.

Lazaridis made only 11 appearances for the Perth club in 2006–07. His time there was tainted when in January 2007, Lazaridis returned a positive drug test for anti-androgen Finasteride, a prescription alopecia medication, which was banned at the time. Although perhaps slim comfort to Lazaridis finasteride was removed from the banned list in large measure as a result of the widespread discontent that followed his unfortunate case becoming public.[5]

While noting his previous good character and making clear there was no evidence he had taken performance enhancing drugs, he was found to have breached the rules and was given a 12-month suspension from football, mostly backdated.[6] In March 2008, Perth Glory manager David Mitchell cut Lazaridis from the club's A-League roster,[7] prompting the player to retire.
National team statistics

[8]
Australia national team
Year Apps Goals
1993 3 0
1994 4 0
1995 6 0
1996 0 0
1997 13 0
1998 0 0
1999 0 0
2000 9 0
2001 9 0
2002 0 0
2003 2 0
2004 8 0
2005 3 0
2006 3 0
Total 60 0
Honours

With Australia:

FIFA Confederations Cup: 1997 (Runners-Up)
OFC Nations Cup: 2000

References

^ Century of Champions, The Modern Era
^ "When Harry Met Stan - Australian FourFourTwo - The Ultimate football Website". Au.fourfourtwo.com. 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
^ a b c "Stan Lazaridis". Westhamstats.info. 1972-08-16. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
^ "Sport - Birmingham City - Birmingham City FC legends - Stan Lazaridis". Birmingham Mail. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
^ Fury as Lazaridis 'tarnished'
^ Lazaridis handed one-year suspension
^ Lazaridis cut loose by Glory
^ ".. Player - Stan Lazaridis". National Football Teams. 1972-08-16. Retrieved 2011-02-06.

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