Meet the NPL’s newest star, fans will fall Maude-ly in love with.

By Sha Nen 

With the NPL kicking off, a lot of players were keen to make their mark early and catch the eye. 

One player who would’ve caught the eye running up and down the wing is Dandenong City’s Kody Maude. 

A name that might not be familiar to you, but certainly a name worth remembering. 

Maude, 24, started his career at NSW NPL side Rockdale City Suns, climbing the ranks to the first team and captaining their under 20’s along the way. 

After a few stellar seasons, which included him winning young player of the year in 2017, Maude moved to Bankstown City and continued his good form.

Maude with Paul Reid at Rockdale

But, like many footballers, he had big ambitions to play in Europe, and rather than waiting for an opportunity, he went out and created an opportunity himself. 

Packing his bag and jetting off halfway across the world, Maude had trials in the conference in England and offers in the lower leagues in Italy, but issues with a passport held his Italian dream back. 

While he was about to put pen to paper on a deal in England, opportunity knocked for professional football in Lithuania with Vytas FC. 

“My bags were packed and I was on trial with a national league club in England. 

The day the club asked me to sign, an agent called and said a club in Lithuania wanted to play 1st tier and were after some players. 

I sent some clips through, and next day that club put me on a flight and gave me a month trial” 

“I didn’t even get a training session in before having to play a match the next day.” 

Maude, who was a midfielder at the time ended up playing in the unfamiliar position of right back in a friendly, due to an injury to the first choice right back, something that would end up being a blessing in disguise. 

“The right back that was already signed took a knock and had to come off. 

The coach asked if it was okay if I just played 45 mins there and next game! would trial as a midfielder” 

After impressing in the match, Maude ended up being offered a contract for the club. 

“I finished the match the president called me and told me that the coach and club wanted to sign me. But not as a midfielder as the right back for the club.” 

Maude hit the ground running in Lithuania and would play every minute in Lithuania for Vytas, who fell just short of promotion, finishing 6th. 

Maude in Lithuania with Vytis

But due to COVID, like many Aussies overseas, he made the desicion to return home to Australia, despite having interest from other clubs across Europe. 

In February, Maude signed for NPL Victoria side Dandenong City S.C. 

“I sent a few feelers out of my current season highlights (…) Dandenong were quick to respond. 

And after realising Sasa Ognenovski was in-charge there, and he was interested in getting me on board it was a no brainer.” 

He made his debut in the round 1 derby vs Dandenong Thunder, which ended in a 1-1 draw, playing 82 minutes in an impressive debut for the club. 

“Can’t thank the club enough for being so professional and making my journey and move to Melbourne so easy. 

Hoping to repay them with sweat and tears and as always play for the badge.” 

Dandenong City will play St. Albans Saints on 5/3/21, 8:30PM. 

Check out the full interview below! 

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