South Melbourne FC confirms that right back Tim Mala will be taking a year off from top-flight football in 2018 due to increased work commitments.
Mala arrived at Lakeside Stadium from Dandenong Thunder in July 2013. He made his debut against Bentleigh on 21 July 2013 and went on to represent SMFC in 105 league/finals matches, with 124 competitive appearances for the club in all competitions.
His playing honours during his time at SMFC include being a starting member in two NPL Victoria championships (2014, 2016), the NPL Victoria premiership (2015), the Dockerty Cup (2015) and the FFV Community Shield (2015). Individually, Tim won the SMFC Players’ Player of the Year in 2014 and – due to being a championship player – is an automatic SMFC Hall of Fame member. He also played a part in the club’s media team, with his very popular “Minute with Mala” segment on SMFCTV.
Speaking to smfc.com.au, Football Director Nicholas Maikousis thanked Tim for his time with the club. “While we are disappointed not to have Tim around for this season, we would like to wish him all the best for the upcoming year with his personal ventures. He’s a person that is loved around the club and we will certainly miss his presence around Lakeside Stadium and within our change rooms”.
Also speaking to smfc.com.au, Mala thanked the fans and the club. “It’s been a great time in my life and I am very thankful of the good times. With some increased commitments in my personal life it made it hard to continue for the upcoming season, so i will step away for a year and see where we are at in 12 months time. I’d like to thank the club for its understanding and for the past 4 years, it certainly is a place that has given me many memories and somewhere that feels like a second home. I would also like to thank the supporters for all their amazing support over that time, while i am around this year i will be one of you and continue to support the boys and club.”
We thank Tim for his service to the club and wish him all the best in the next 12 months.