It’s a far cry from the 1980’s when you could count the number of Greek Australians playing overseas on your hand.
While pioneers such as Chris Kalantzis and Jim Patikas moved to Europe after spending time in Australia, most of the current generation of Greek Aussies abroad have never played in the local league.
Neos Kosmos takes the opportunity to introduce you to the many Hellenes who are plying their trade across the continent.
When Haris Stamboulidis made history by becoming the first Ivy League footballer to sign a professional contract with Super League club Aris Thessaloniki, it made headlines across the Greek media.
The former Columbia University and Colorado Rapids midfielder has yet to make his debut and as it’s still early in his career the 21-year-old hopes to figure in the first team squad later in the season.
Peter Makrillos is in his second season at Greek Super League club Panionios. After playing eight matches in the first team last season, Makrillos has yet to feature in the side this campaign due to being out with an injury.
Joining Makrillios at Panionios this season is 16 -year-old Emmanuel Pavlis who signed for the club’s youth team after previously being part of Greek powerhouse club Olympiakos.
Earlier this year the teenager was named in the U16 Australian National Youth team for a training camp and may take part in next year’s U17 World Cup.
Last season 25-year-old Meni Haralampopoulos featured a number of times for Greek second division side Apollon Larissa. The defender only transferred to fellow second division side Acharnaikos just recently and hopes to play consistently again this term.
Billy Konstantinidis, 32, has been at a number of clubs in Greece and is currently with Greek Football League 2 side Irodotos, after spending time playing in Japan last term.
The striker’s last appearance for Irodotos came in the Greek Cup match against Apollon Pontou last month.
No doubt the busiest of all the Greek Aussies Abroad has been Apostolos Giannou who has been playing regularly for Cyprus first division club AEK Larnaka.
The striker has been a consistent presence for the Larnaka-based side and scored two crucial goals in the Europa League campaign that saw the Cypriot side make the group stage.
The 28-year-old’s form has seen him gain a recall to Graham Arnold’s Socceroos squad and will be hoping to play against Kuwait, Korea and Lebanon in the upcoming friendly series.
Former Sydney FC striker Bai Antoniou recently moved to Cyprus first division side Alki Oroklini and while he hasn’t figured for his new team yet, the 21-year-old hopes to make his debut during the season.
Last season Jacob Eliopoulos played every match for Cypriot second division PAEEK. This term the 21-year-old defender moved to promotion chasing ASIL FC and hopes to be getting consistent game time again and fulfil his dream of playing in the first division.
Patricia Charalambous moved to Cyprus after being with Perth Glory W-League team last season. This is the 23-year-old’s second stint playing in the country of her parents’ heritage and will spend the 2018-19 season with Apollon Limassol lady’s team.
Andrew Paraskevas currently plays for Czech Republic first division side FC Banik Ostrava’s youth team. Last term the 19-year-old defender spent some time playing in Cyprus and previous to that was with Heidelberg’s U-20 team.
Greek Cypriot Australian Antonis Martis has been with Danish top division team FC Midtjylland U19 side for the last two seasons.
The 18-year-old central midfielder has represented the Cyprus National Under 19 team twice and this season has featured for FC Midtjylland’s U19’s as well as their reserve squad.
The sole Greek Australian with an English Premer League club is Con Ouzounidis. The defender has been part of Everton’s Academy set up since the age of 11 and in July this year, the now 18-year-old signed his first professional contract.
That joy was followed up by being named in the Young Socceroos squad for this month’s AFC Championship in Indonesia. Ouzounidis has been part of Everton’s U23 team squad all season and made his debut in the round five match against Derby last month.
Last season Greek Australian midfielder Kosta Sparta was a regular member of English Championship side Reading’s U-18 team where he played against Chelsea and Arsenal.
This term the 19-year-old moved to League One side Wimbledon AFC where he made his debut in the reserves side against MK Dons last month.
After signing with Bundesliga club FC Schalke U23’s team at the beginning of the season, former Sydney Olympic player George Timotheou has made an instant impact in Germany.
The defender played the opening six games of the season and scored the winning goal against TuS Haltern in the Oberliga. After getting injured, the Canberra local has now recovered and is back playing for his club.
Former Melbourne Victory starlet Christian Theoharous signed for German first division side Borussia Monchengladbach’s reserve team this season and currently plays in the Regionalliga West.
So far the Greek Cypriot Australian has been part of the matchday squad for the first 12 games and made his debut appearance against FC Cologne last month.
The 19-year-old was called up to the Young Socceroos squad for the AFC U19 Championship taking place in Indonesia later this month and hopes to help the team qualify for next year’s U20 World Cup.
After a number of stellar seasons with Melbourne City, Dean Bouzanis transferred to Dutch top division side PEC Zwolle this term joining former City assistant coach Michael Valkanis in Holland.
So far the 28-year-old goalkeeper has played one match in the youth league but has been in the senior match day squad on four occasions.
After being without a club last season former Chelsea youth product George Mells moved to Dutch first Division side Fortuna Sittard this term. The midfielder has played a number of games in the U21 side and hopes to be challenging for the first team as the season progresses.
After being with Udinese from the age of 16, Australian Youth International Panos Armenakas was released from the club at the beginning of this season. News on the 20-year-old’s search for a club will be updated soon.
Former Sydney FC left back Alex Gersbach is in his third season with top Norwegian club Rosenberg.
The 21-year-old has featured three times in the league for Rosenberg this campaign with two of those appearances coming in the last two rounds.
Gersbach has also played in the Europa League this season and was called up to Graham Arnold’s Socceroos squad for the upcoming friendly series against Kuwait, Korea and Lebanon.
Last year highly rated 18-year-old midfielder Leo Mazis signed with Scottish giants Celtic and played a number of games for the club’s youth team. This term Mazis has been involved in Celtic’s Reserve team squad with his debut coming during the opening round of the season.
Last season Tom Petsianis moved to the Spanish top division side Leganes youth team. The Greek Australian goal keeper plays in the Juvenil B competition against Real Madrid’s youth teams and this term the 19-year-old is hoping to cement his spot in the U23 team.