At the age of 25, Dimitris Giannoulis has joined Norwich City on loan in a deal that could become permanent in the summer. He has won the Greek Super League and Greek Cup with PAOK, his parent club, and has represented his country.
However, he is looking for a new challenge and dreams of playing in the Premier League with the Canaries. The Greek international left back talked to OTBC - the club's official matchday programme - prior to our 3-0 win at home to Luton Town to discuss how he is finding life in England so far and what he has made of the Championship.
OTBC: You have played seven games for Norwich so far, how much have you enjoyed the matches?
Dimi: Yes, I love to be here, and I have had some good games. Now we are in very good shape, we have five consecutive wins, and we are really enjoying our football. We are trying to play good football most of the time. Sometimes it is not so easy, but the most important thing is that we keep winning and then we are closer to getting promoted.
OTBC: Obviously it is difficult coming into a new team and a new style of football. Do you feel game by game you are improving and getting used to English football?
Dimi: Yes, it is a bit difficult but game by game I think I am better. I have a lot of good things to give to the team and I hope by the end of the season I will be the player that Norwich wanted to buy and maybe next year I will be much better also so I can help the team in some of the difficult games we'll have in the next year.
OTBC: You have spent the majority of your playing career in the Greek Super League. What are the main differences you have found in football from the Greek Super League compared to the Championship?
Dimi: It is totally different. Here the league is more tough, it is more physical. In Greece we don’t play such a physical game, it is more about technique and quality but here you have to be a machine to play. So, yes, it is a bit different, but I am adapting, and I am enjoying playing for Norwich.
OTBC: As well as defending well we have seen you get forward in games quite a bit and you provided an assist for Emi Buendia in the recent win over Stoke City at Carrow Road. How much of a nice moment was that for you?
Dimi: Yes, that was a nice moment for me as it was my first assist for City. I am a left back that likes to attack and to help the team with some assists, but the most important thing is to be a good defender so first of all I have to defend good and then to help the team in attack. So, I will continue like that and I hope I will have many more assists in the next games.
OTBC: What made you want to switch football in Greece for football in England?
Dimi: The potential to play in the Premier League next year was one of the biggest reasons, but I also believe that the Championship is a better league than the Greek Super League because there are so many good teams. In Greece there are five or six good teams and then some others that are not so good. I wanted to be here (in the Championship) to be better, to play a more difficult style of football and then I can improve myself.
OTBC: It is a difficult time to change countries and come to a new place, but how easy have Norwich City made that transition for you and how much have you settled in?
Dimi: Yes, for sure, it is a difficult moment to change country, but Norwich did it all perfect for me. I came here and I didn’t have any problems, and everything was okay. It was so easy for me to settle into Norwich and I am very happy for that because I can be focused on football and not on other things.
OTBC: What was the welcome like from your teammates?
Dimi: My teammates are really friendly, really supportive and they are good lads. Everyone in the dressing room is very friendly and wants to talk and have a chat with me, they ask me questions about Greece. Everything is fine and I am really happy to be a part of that dressing room because all the guys are very good.
OTBC: Your older brother Kostas also plays professional football and is a left-back like yourself. How much of a help has he been to you in your football career so far?
Dimi: He has helped me a lot. I speak with him every day, twice a day maybe, on the phone. He is really my teacher on football and he is really supportive. He helped me when I was not in good shape and I had some difficulties, he was there for me, and I owe him many things. So, I am really happy to be his brother and I hope in the next months he can come and watch a game here in Norwich.
OTBC: Is he able to watch Norwich City games on TV or through the iFollow service and keep up with how you are doing?
Dimi: Yes, of course. He is watching every single game and he is really happy; maybe he is happier than I am, to be honest, but it is really good to have that really good relationship with my brother.
OTBC: You have also played a represented Greece at international level. How much do you enjoy playing for your country?
Dimi: I enjoy it a lot because in the last months we are playing good football, we are creating opportunities and we are trying to play a different style of football to the one that we played until now. So it is a little difficult also, but with the new coach we are doing some good things and I hope we qualify for the next big tournament because it is a long time since the last time we were in a big tournament.
OTBC: Finally, how much would it mean to you to get to the Premier League with Norwich City this season?
Dimi: Yes, it is a big target and everyone in the team wants to achieve that. It was my dream from a young age to play in the Premier League – the best league in the world – so we have to do it and a believe if we continue to be concentrated in each and every game we will do it at the end.