By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC regrets to advise that Goalkeeper Peter Gavalas has retired effective immediately due to professional work commitments.
Gavalas arrived at Lakeside Stadium for the beginning of the 2012 Victorian Premier League season, joining South Melbourne FC from the Bentleigh Greens. He made his debut on Sunday 25 March 2012 and enjoyed a clean sheet as South defeated the Moreland Zebras 4-0 at Lakeside Stadium. Gavalas made 21 League appearances in 2012 before backing that up with 23 League appearances in 2013. At the halfway point of the 2013 season, South was struggling to get consistency going but that changed following the arrival of new Head Coach Chris Taylor for the second half of the season. Gavalas made some vital saves in crucial games (with his finest performance being in the 2-1 win against the Oakleigh Cannons at Jack Edwards Reserve on Sunday 18 August) as he helped South end the regular season in fourth place before going as far as the Preliminary Final.
Gavalas’ individual efforts were recognised when he was announced as the 2013 Victorian Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year, joining Dean Anastasiadis (2005, 2006) and Peter Zois (2010) as the South goalkeepers to have won that award. Overall he represented South Melbourne FC 47 times across all competitions (44 League games and 3 Dockerty Cup matches) and enjoyed ten clean sheets.
Peter Gavalas told smfc.com.au “it’s disappointing to have to move on at such an exciting time for the club. There is a strong unit forming within the inner sanctum at Hellas and no doubt the boys will achieve a high level of success in 2014. Thanks to Nicholas Maikousis for his dedicated efforts in assisting the playing group'”.
Speaking to smfc.com.au, Football Director Nicholas Maikousis said “the Club was disappointed to hear the news that Peter had decided to hang up his gloves and retire. Peter has just completed his tertiary studies, and will embark upon a new career in the field of physiotherapy, and will not have the time to devote to his training and playing committements. We wish Peter all the very best in this new chapter in his life establishing his new business called Physiohealth located at both Essendon and Williamstown, and look forward to seeing him on the terraces supporting the team”.