Greek national team greats, Angelos Charisteas, Pantelis Kafes and Sotirios Kyrgiakos are set to join national premier league club Sydney Olympic in late January if all things go well, and could be playing on our shores this year.
The three greats are currently out of contract or free agents, and are contemplating an Australian move with aspirations of joining the A-League in the future as marquee players like Alessandro Del Piero and Shinji Ono.
A couple of European clubs are also trying to sign the players and the club won’t know for sure if they will have a concrete signed agreement until the end of the European transfer season in late January.
“All have agreed in principle to come and play,” Sydney Olympic media manager, George Mpilokas, tells Neos Kosmos.
“Negotiations are ongoing. Two of the players are revisiting some opportunities they have with professional contracts within Europe.”
Mr Mpilokas says the club is guaranteed at least one player will be on board for 2014, but the best case scenario would be three marquees they can alternate within the team.
With the national premier league (NPL) rules, the number of plays a marquee player can have is restricted but the club will also have to deal with the busy schedule of these professionals.
“It looks like there will be three or four match stints for the players likely at differing points in the season,” Mpilokas says.
Centre-back for Liverpool, Panathinaikos and the Ranger, Sotirios Kyrgiakos is expected to be the first to arrive at Belmore Oval, perhaps as early as late January.
Central midfielder, Charisteas Kafe is currently out of contract after leaving Greek club Veria in February. His options are being tested, with many offers coming from European clubs so his Olympic venture might be put on hold.
Former striker for Ajax, Werder Bremen and Schalk, Charisteas, is also likely to be snapped up by a European club, having left Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr earlier this year but isn’t closing the door yet.
The club is hoping that the famous stars will enhance the club’s name, now going down a new road with a new board of directors.
Current players will be waiting with bated breath to get a few pointers from the professional stars.
The NSW Greek community will also be jumping on the opportunity to see the Euro 2004 players hit a local pitch and will be filling out the stands. The club has had a strong Greek Australian legacy, spanning over 50 years and was first called Pan Hellenic Soccer Club. It has seen Australian soccer greats like Tim Cahill and Alistair Edwards go through its ranks, while it has signed the likes of Brett Emerton, Jason Polak and Ned Zelic for stints at the club.