After making his top flight European debut with Panionios, Peter Makrillos is dreaming of being a potential bolter for the Socceroos World Cup squad.
Makrillos, 22, had only been with the Greek Super League club for a week when the Australian youth international featured in their 1-1 draw against Panetolikos over the weekend.
Makrillos spent six years at Stoke City’s youth academy and before that spent three months at Barcelona’s famed La Masia.
But for the previous two years the Sydney youngster has been playing in the NSW National Premier League with Rockdale City.
Speaking to FourFourTwo from Greece, Makrillos said he was delighted to have made his first team breakthrough as a 73rd-minute substitute.
“I can’t even describe how it felt properly,” he said
“It was just an amazing experience and I will never forget it. I felt I played well.
“The coach said he was happy with my performance and as long as I am making the coach happy and helping the team as much as I can, I'm happy as that’s my job.”
Makrillos revealed the choice to move back home after six years with Stoke was to be closer to his support network.
“The reason for me coming back was strictly for family reasons,” he said. “But I knew I was going to get an opportunity to come back overseas and I had to be ready.
“So, I feel a great sense of achievement in signing my first professional contract.
“All the years of hard work from my juniors and the education that I received through the clubs that I have been with has contributed to this three-and-a-half-year contract.”
Even though Makrillos was training with Stoke’s first team before he left England, the 22-year-old revealed he wasn’t offered a chance to play in Australia’s top flight.
“It’s very difficult to get a contract with an A-League club,” he said.
“My whole career I was playing in England and I hadn’t made a name for myself in Australia.
“So, by the time I came back it was difficult for me. Even though I played at the highest level in England I just wasn’t given a chance.”
Looking ahead Makrillos hopes to get more opportunities in Panionios’ first team and feels that regular game time could put him in the frame as a bolter for the Socceroos.
“My goals are to cement a permanent position in the starting 11 and to establish myself in the Greek Super League,” he said.
“I would like to help Panionios win a trophy and also maybe one-day play Champions League and represent my country.
“I have already represented my country once at Under-20 level and it would be a dream for me if I were to play for the Socceroos.
“I’ve always wanted to do that, and yes if the opportunity does come to play at the World Cup I would take it with both hands.”