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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 02 March 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 MARCH 2019 27 SPORT Peter Makrillos, the new player of Panionios is a Greek Australian “Why I love playing against AEK, Olympiakos and PAOK” CON STAMOCOSTAS After gaining a regular starting spot with Greek Super League team Panionios, Greek Australian midfielder Peter Makrillos is loving his football and is aiming for a Socceroos call up. Makrillos' second season in the Greek Super League was initially disrupted by injury but in the last two months the 23- year-old has nailed down a regular starting spot for Panionios. The Sydney-born youngster signed with the Athens based Greek Super League club in January 2018 after stints with NSW NPL clubs Rockdale City and Sydney Olympic. Last season the talented midfielder made eight appearances in Greece including playing PAOK in the semi-final of the Greek Cup. After getting back to full fitness Markrillos admits that being able to play regularly again has been a great relief. "Of course, that is important for your confidence," he said. "For yourself it's a big thing, it keeps you motivated. I knew eventually I would be playing and when I did I had to take it with both hands and not let it go. There is a lot of pressure on players here, but for me it's all about enjoying my football and letting my feet do the talking." Since December 10th placed Panionios have achieved some remarkable results such as beating PAOK in the Greek Cup and drawing against highly fancied Aris who are fifth - experiences Makrillos has relished. "Those teams are top level," Makrillos said. "You are playing against players and clubs that play in the Champions League. Aris is a very big club also. I feel better playing against Olympiacos , PAOK and AEK rather than the lower teams. I feel a lot more comfortable, like I am on the same level as those players and that technically I am better than some. Playing against those players and teams that like to play football you are going to have chances in the games to get on the ball and get the ball moving." Despite his recent game time Makrillos admits that during the first part of the season when he was injured and unable to play he started to yearn for home comforts. "When a player isn't playing regularly or coming off the bench or is not in the squad it's hard because you are away from your family," he said. "You think to yourself why am I away when I could be home with my family? I left my family when I was 13 and half years old and mentally I am very strong now. When I first came here I believed in my abilities and myself. I knew where I belonged. All I needed to do was put my head down and to enjoy my football and if I did that people around me would see my "I would love to represent my country," he said. "I have before and it was a very special feeling, but I feel like I haven't had the chance to show what I have. Now I'm playing I hope they can watch me very closely because I do believe I can help the squad. "Makrillos also hopes to emulate the careers of former Socceroos Jim Patikas and Chris Kalantzsis who spent a decade in Greece playing for clubs like AEK, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos. Peter Makrillos hopes that performances against teams like Olympiacos have caught the eye of Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold. talent." Now that he is playing regular for Panionios, Makrillos is hoping his performances against teams like Olympiacos F.C. have caught the eye of Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold. Olympiacos stunned by 1-0 loss to PAS Lamia PAS Lamia created one of the biggest surprises of all times in the Greek Cup by defeating Olympiacos with a score of 1-0 on their home turf at the Giorgios Karaiskakis stadium. The odds of the game had been 86 per cent in the favour of the red and white team which made the upset all the more scathing. All Olympiacos was needed was a draw to ensure that they could carry on to the semi-finals but a goal by Joan Thomas at the 52nd minute dashed their hopes for the Greek Cup. The result came like a cold shower on the players that had recovered from their midweek drop-out from the final 16 of the Europa League with hopes that they would catch up to Panathinaikos, still ahead in the rankings but not impossible to reach. Pedro Martins’ men, how- ever, had underestimated the regional team and what could have been an easy game ended up being their downfall. Serbian goalkeeper Bojan Saranov was particularly impressive in his defence, managing to catch everything that Olympiacos threw his way, even a penalty by Kostas Fourtounis at the 86th minute. The upset came after Olympiacos had managed to annihilate OFI and seemed hopeful despite their Europa League shortfall in the middle of the fifth place with 34. At the battle to avoid relegation, Asteras and AEL are both at eleventh place with 22 point each, while Giannena are 13th with 20. Levadiakos are in the danger zone with 19 points, as are OFI and Apollon, who each have 17 and nine points respectively. ROUND 22 RESULTS Asteras Tripolis - Atromitos 1-1 (24' Kaltsas - 82' Warda) AEK - Apollon Smyrnis 2-1 (4', 47' Boye - 24' El-Helwe) Panionios - Panathinaikos 2-0 (11' Spiridonovic, 56' Stavropoulos) Xanthi - Levadiakos 0-1 (90'+3' Ioannidis) The red-and-whites bounced back after a harsh European disqualification but their victory celebrations following game with OFI were short-lived and were followed by an embarrassing defeat by PAS Lamia. week. Yet the two teams remained tight and it wasn't until the 85th minute when the visitors managed to break down the opposition defence, after a free kick from outside the area found the head of Fran Velez, who smashed it into the back of Paschalakis' net. Champions AEK had more trouble than they could've bargained for against a tough Apollon side, yet were eventually able to claim a narrow 2-1 victory. Lucas Boye put his team in front before the two sides could even settle on the pitch (4'), yet the "elafra taxiarhia" began to push back and look for an equaliser. Their efforts bore fruit in the 24th minute when El-Helwe calmly finished a marvellous team effort, leaving the Olympic Stadium of Athens in shock. But what Boye had done in the first half, he repeated in the second, giving his team the winning goal from a great solo attempt. Meanwhile, Panathinaikos seem to be falling even further behind, with Panionios completely overwhelming them at Nea Smyrni. One goal from Spiridonovic in the first half and another from Stavropoulos in the second were enough to give the "panthers" the three points, as Giorgos Donis and his team full on young hopefuls continue to look for a solution to their problems. And they will need to solve them quickly, as this weekend they will be hosting tableleaders PAOK at the Olympic Stadium, while AEK travel to Thessaloniki for their tussle with Aris. At the same time, Olympiacos will be looking forward to yet another comfortable voyage as they return to their former home ground, Rizoupoli, to face bottom-of-the-table Apollon. Currently PAOK are at first place in the Greek Super League with 58 points, while Olympiacos have 51 and AEK are in third with 43. Atromitos hold firmly to fourth place with 40 points as Aris are at Lamia - AEL 2-1 (20' pen. Piti, 56' Bertoglio - 10' Bertos) Olympiacos - OFI 5-1 (15' Masouras, 36', 46', 60' Ahmed, 40' Fortounis - 57' Nabi) PAOK- Aris 1-1 (39' Vieirinha - 85' Velez) Panetolikos - Giannena 1-0 (79' Arghus) ROUND 23 FIXTURES Saturday 2 March Aris - AEK Giannena - Xanthi Sunday 3 March OFI - AEL Atromitos - Panionios Levadiakos - Lamia Panathinaikos - PAOK Asteras Tripolis - Panetolikos Monday 4 March Apollon Smyrnis - Olympiacos "That is exactly what I want to do," he said. "They established themselves in Greece and they made big name for themselves - I have all the respect for them because if it wasn't for these Australian Greeks who came here to Greece I wouldn't have the guts and come and try. So I pay my respect to these guys and I would love to have a career like them."
23 February 2019
09 March 2019