The Australian has been one of Slavia Sofia’s stand-out performers but he had to go through a lot before getting the chance to shine in Bulgaria.
Peter was born in Sydney and started his football journey playing for local clubs like APIA, Blacktown City Demons, and Sutherland Sharks.
At the age of 12, he traveled overseas with Sutherland to take part in the Nike Cup tournament. They ended up winning the competition with Makrillos impressing greatly, particularly in their group stage game against Barcelona.
The youngster was offered to join Blaugrana’s youth team and train with them for three months. Eventually, he stayed there almost a year, being part of the same team as ex-Arsenal captain Hector Bellerin and former Barca prodigy Sergi Samper.
After Barcelona, Stoke City came knocking on the door and an opportunity was presented for the young boy to play for their academy. He stayed with the Potters for the next six years.
Stoke was in the Premier League at the time and Makrillos was training regularly with the first-team under both Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes.
His biggest success in England was reaching the Youth FA Cup quarterfinals. A tournament won by some of the biggest names in football such as David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Frank Lampard.
He returned to Australia in 2016 due to family reasons signing for Rochdale City Suns with the ambition to earn himself a move to the Men’s A-League via the NPL.
After spending one year with the Suns he moved to Sydney Olympic where he impressed and earned a transfer to Greek top-tier side Panionios.
“I can’t even describe how it felt properly,” he said in an interview for FourFourTwo following his debut in the Super League.
“My goals are to cement a permanent position in the starting 11 and to establish myself in the Greek Super League,” he added.
But his dream move back to Europe didn’t go as he had planed it.
During his 18-month spell in Greece, Makrillos played 15 times for Panionios, recording two assists, but game time wasn’t the real problem.
The midfielder had to battle with off-field financial issues, later revealing that the club left him unpaid for more than a year.
“In Greece, I had many problems financially. It was really bad,” he told The World Game back in 2020.
“It’s a beautiful place but it’s really tough, I couldn’t do it anymore. I just needed a new start and to play my football somewhere where I’m going to be secure financially. Somewhere I can just enjoy football again,” he said.
A move to Finland’s Veikkausliiga followed. Makrillos joined IFK Mariehamn after a successful trial, signing a one-year deal.
In the capital of the Åland Islands, the Sydney-born playmaker became one of the leaders of the team, scoring 5 goals, and providing 1 assist in 22 appearances before his contract expired at the start of 2021.
On the 11th of February 2021, Makrillos signed a one-and-a-half-year deal with Slavia Sofia, one of the oldest clubs in Bulgarian football. At the time The Whites were in very poor form and were fighting to keep their place in the EfBet League.
In his first season in Bulgaria, the 26-year-old played 19 games in all tournaments, scoring 8 goals, and providing two assists.
The team from the capital didn’t lose a single match in which the #7 scored or delivered the final pass, winning six times, drawing once, and eventually escaping relegation.
Another highlight of his excellent start was his goal in the Quarter-Final derby against Levski Sofia. It helped Slavia reach the Semis for the first time since their Cup-winning 17/18 campaign.
The Socceroos dream
Ahead of the new 21/22 season, Makrillos said in an interview for Bulgarian television TV+ that it has always been a dream of his to represent Australia and make his family proud.
“I had the chance to play for the youth national team, and now I really want to be called up to the men’s team and make my family proud. This thought is always in my head and when I go out on the field and it motivates me because that’s the only way I can fulfill this long-term goal of mine,” he said.
Peter’s sister, Haidi was also a footballer. She is an ex-Australia women’s international and a former NSW Premier League Platinum Medal Winner. Sadly here career ended early, after two ACL injuries.
Slavia has started the new season in very good fashion, winning six of their first ten games in all competitions and currently sitting third on the ladder.
The midfielder has played in all ten games, starting nine of them and coming off the bench to score in the Cup game against second-tier side Maritsa.
His goalscoring rate has clearly dropped, with only one goal in 10 games but the Socceroos hopeful has still been very important for his team.
According to InStat Makrillos currently leads his team in assists (2), chance created (5), shots taken (16), and accurate crosses (50%), while also being in the top three for fouls suffered (14), attacking challenges (72), dribbles (29), and tackles (34).
With the World Cup in Qatar looming closer, if Makrillos could recreate his goalscoring form from last season while keeping all the other numbers high, he could well force his way into Graham Arnold’s squad for the November window.