Former South Melbourne FC youth player Peter Skapetis is heading south, having been released by A-League club Brisbane Roar and subsequently snapped up by Central Coast Mariners.
After leaving Australia six years ago to follow his dream of becoming a professional footballer in England, where he had spells playing at EPL club Stoke City’s U21 team and a short spell with Dover City, Skapetis returned to Australia to join the Roar in the preseason. The 23-year-old Melbourne-born striker picked up a one-year A-League contract deal with the Roar.
Despite scoring in Roar’s FFA Cup loss to Melbourne Victory, he made 14 league appearances, including nine starts for John Aloisi’s team without scoring again.
With the recent return of several Roar forwards from injury lay-offs, Skapetis and Roar have mutually agreed to terminate their agreement.
But fans of Central Coast Mariners are hoping that Roar’s loss will prove a boon to Paul Okon’s team.
Talking on A-League.com.au, Skapetis said, “I’m really excited to start training with my new team and hit the ground running.”
“Everything happened very quickly and I’m really happy to be here and looking forward to meeting all the boys.
“The type of football Paul Okon has the Mariners playing was a big factor for me – I’ve always respected him.
“I know a few of the players personally who are all great guys and great players so it just seemed like the perfect fit, so when the opportunity presented itself I wanted to take it.
“I want to put the ball in the back of the net, play finals football and offer everything I can to get the team higher up the ladder.”
“I’m really grateful for this opportunity, I’m ready to go if called upon this Saturday, [against league leader Sydney FC],” he said.
“It’s a tough opposition – the best in the league currently, but if you can’t get excited about a game like that then you don’t love the sport. I’m looking forward to it.”
Okon added: “Peter is fit and ready to go. He will add to our depth in the front third as he can play anywhere in attack.
“With plenty of football still to be played we’re confident that Peter can contribute to helping us win football games.”