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Peter Gavalas was a goalkeeper who had two stints at South Melbourne Hellas which ran the gamut from terrible to excellent. His rocky relationship with the supporters at times marred his time at South Melbourne, while he also surprised the club by retiring at 26 (after an award winning season), then returning to the club in 2015 only to end up playing one game in his return season.

Gavalas had been a long time feature in the Victorian Premier League, principally with Heidelberg United and Bentleigh Greens, and it was from the latter club that he was signed by South during the 2012 pre-season, immediately dislodging the incumbent number one Zaim Zeneli, who left the club.[1]

Gavalas' 2012 season was poor, but he managed to improve significantly in 2013. Gavalas' good form in 2013 saw him win the Theo Marmaras Medal for club best and fairest,[2] as well as the award for VPL goalkeeper of the year,[3] but his season was not without controversy. In June after the Dockerty Cup win over Northcote, Gavalas made an obscene gesture to South's supporters, for which he later apologised.[4] A month later, with the club trying to rebuild under Chris Taylor after the mass exodus of players mid-season, Gavalas was sent-off early against Bentleigh after putting in a crude tackle.[5] In the preliminary final against Northcote, after Gavalas collected a high cross, Northcote forward Milos Lujic pushed Gavalas into the net, with the goal standing.[6]

At the end of the 2013 season, Gavalas announced his retirement from the game at just 26 years of age, in order to focus on his new business.[7] Unexpectedly coming out of retirement prior to the start of the 2015 season,[8] Gavalas rejoined South but ended up playing just one match - the inaugural FFV Community Shield tie against Melbourne Knights. In that game Gavalas suffered from a recurrence of an old back injury, and while he played out the match, he did not play for South again in 2015. Nikola Roganovic instead took up the number one goalkeeper's spot in round 1. Gavalas was later replaced on the senior list by Fraser MacLaren.[9]

Milestones

Arrived from: Bentleigh Greens

Departed to: Retired (2013 and 2015)

Debut: VPL Round 1, 2012, against Moreland ZebrasLakeside Stadium

Last game2015 FFV Community Shield, against Melbourne KnightsKnights Stadium

Honours

Stats

Season League Dockerty Cup Community Shield Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2012 21 0 1 0 - - 22 0
2013 23 0 2 0 - - 25 0
2015 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 44 0 3 0 1 0 48 0

References

  1. http://www.smfc.com.au/south-capture-gavalas-for-the-2012-season/
  2. http://www.smfc.com.au/gavalas-wins-theo-marmaras-medal/
  3. http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/States/VIC/GKOY.html
  4. http://www.smfc.com.au/media-release-message-from-peter-gavalas/
  5. http://www.smfc.com.au/south-sees-red-as-greens-take-the-points/
  6. http://www.mfootball.com.au/match-report-northcote-5-0-south-melbourne/
  7. http://www.smfc.com.au/peter-gavalas-announces-his-retirement/
  8. http://www.smfc.com.au/peter-gavalas-returns-to-club/
  9. http://www.smfc.com.au/south-sign-young-goalkeeper-fraser-maclaren/
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