Both Harris and Chris Gaitatzis have returned from their European sojourn in a bid to resurrect their football careers in Australia.
With one eye firmly on winning a Hyundai A-League contract, both brothers are hoping that they?ll be amongst the celebrating at the end of the NSW Premier League season should the White Eagles lift that elusive trophy.
Media Manager Mark Stavroulakis took the time out to interview the Gaitatzis brothers on a whole range of questions spanning from their time overseas to the reason why they returned home as well as whether this has been the first time the pair have played in the same squad.
MS: How have you settled into life at Bonnyrigg White Eagles?
HG: I’ve settled in very well, not knowing how I would fit in after a 7 year absence overseas. They have made me feel welcome, especially knowing Bomber and Cliffy from my Blacktown City days.
CG: I?ve settled in well at the club. It is well organised and well supported which makes it easy on myself and the players.
MS: What was the reason behind your move to the club?
HG: Circumstances brought me back to Australia, knowing Bomber and Cliffy from my days at Blacktown was the reason I chose to play at Bonnyrigg.
CG: After being overseas for over 10 years I thought it was the right time to come back and continue my career here in Australia.
MS: Both of you came from different countries, Harris you played in Italy?s lower leagues while Chris you played in the lower leagues of Greece, tell us about your experiences there?
HG: I had some highs and lows, one being invited for a trial at Juventus as a 17 year old and been offered a contract after two weeks. Twenty four hours later, people who were representing me at the meeting told me with no explanation that the deal was off. A week later I was signed to German Bundesliga club Arminia Bielefeld. One of my highs was spending three months under the guidance of Hector Cuper at Aris Salonika who wanted to sign me, but again through club and manager they couldn’t come to an agreement. After that I spent time in the lower leagues of Italy, due to financial circumstances with the club, I decided to come back and get my career back on path.
CG: My experience overseas was great. Being part of the Panathinaikos academy for three years at the age of 15 training full-time was brilliant. I also had the opportunity to train with the first grade squad at a very young age with the likes of Paolo Sousa and Greek internationals that were part of the Euro 2004 winning squad. From there I was loaned to feeder clubs in Greece then moving to lower divisions in Italy.
MS: How does it feel having your brother play at the same team as you, do you feel more pressure to produce?
HG: No pressure at all, as a matter of fact it?s an advantage as we know each other?s game inside out, so I think it benefits both of us.
CG: There is no pressure at all, Harris and I always work well together and support each other in every way.
MS: When was the last time you two played in the same squad?
HG: We have never played in the same squad before.
CG: This is our first time playing together.
MS: What are your ambitions for 2012?
HG: To play, show my qualities, help Bonnyrigg win the title and with my new management group, get my career back on track.
CG: My ambitions are to establish myself here at Bonnyrigg and to help the club win the NSW Premier League and from there hopefully play in the Hyundai A-League in the future.
MS: Can the White Eagles with the Premiership?
HG: Definitely, we have a young, strong squad. I think we will do very well.
CG: Yes most definitely we have a strong side and have great support from the club and fans.
MS: Brian Brown as a coach?
HG: Brian Brown is a great coach, a very successful coach in the NSW Premier League. He is a coach players want to play and win for.
CG: Brian Brown as we all know is a great coach and has established himself here in Australia. He believes in his players and I have great respect for him.
MS: Do you have aspirations to play in the Hyundai A-League maybe with this new Western Sydney side or move back abroad?
HG: Definitely have aspirations, whether it?s in the Hyundai A-League or a move back abroad.
CG: Most definitely. That is the reason I decided to move back to Australia in the first place.
To move back abroad also is still in the plans.