• Craig Moore, right, challenges Brazil's Ronaldo at the 2006 World Cup (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Former Socceroos defender Craig Moore has revealed to Lucy Zelic about his crazy time playing in the Greek Super League for Kavala FC with fellow Aussie Zeljko Kalac.
SBS The World Game
3 Apr 2020 - 7:53 PM  UPDATED 3 Apr 2020 - 7:53 PM

Moore, now 44, joined Kavala in 2010 while they in the first division after fellow Aussie Kalac had spoken to the club's president. 

Moore and Kalac roomed together which had it's own challenges. 

"We went up north somewhere, I remember Scotland was cold, but this place he went to was bloody freezing - it was the coldest I've ever experienced," Moore told Zelic as part of a long 'In Conversation' piece that will be released in full on Saturday.

"We're staying in these lodges and I am rooming with big Spider (Kalac) and I walked into this room and it's not the biggest room.

"In the middle of the room, there are two or three stairs that you walk up to and then there's like a nice big double bed and I'm looking up thinking, 'well, where's the rest of it?' Then I've looked to the left and I swear to God, there's like this wooden bench. [Laughs] It's just joined to the wall, right and it's not even a meter in width and I go 'Spides how am I meant to sleep there?' and he goes 'you'll be alright son' because I had to respect my elders.

"I had the worst night's sleep. I said 'mate one roll, just one roll and I'm on the floor here.' [Laughs] It was unbelievable. 

The crazy experiences continued for Moore when Kavala came up against Greek giants Olympiacos. 

"We played that game, I think we got a draw and then we came and had a home game against Olympiacos.

"There were riots before the game, riots on the field - we've got staff running out trying to keep people from getting into our dressing room, fireworks in the dressing room, all of a sudden they got somebody running in with blood coming out their nose, somebody with a black eye

"I'm thinking, my wife Heather and my kids had come to Kavala and they were with Zeljko's Mrs at the time with the kids. I'm in the dressing room and I've gone 'listen, just watch this one on television, do not come to this game.'

"I don't even feel safe going out to play. It was funny - we ended up drawing nil-nil but within five minutes of the game, it was one of those ones where the striker has gone to go short and then to spin off his right shoulder.

"I know exactly what movement he's going to make and where he's going to run and I've been on that right shoulder so as he's turned to spin, I'm coming forward as if I'm looking at the pass that's gonna come and the boy has just hit a brick wall hasn't he? He's just gone 'boom'.

"Then there's this uproar and I'm thinking, 'oh my God, it's not even five minutes into this game the referee is going to send me off because it's so volatile.

"He ends up giving me a yellow card which is fair enough but Spider loves that story.

"We played that game and then two days later, there was a cafe that we used to go to, there was an Aussie boy who used to own it and Spides says to me, 'bud just to let you know, that's me, I'm leaving'. I said 'what?! He said 'mate, I'm done. I'm done here.'

"I said, 'Spides, are you taking the piss mate? I came here, we're going enjoy playing together, the team's doing okay, we're going to push for a European position. I'm not even here for 10 days and you're telling me you're going?'

Kalac left after nine games but Moore stayed on to play 15 games .

"Oh, it was good times because I experience a lot of things for the first time that I hadn't experienced that I'd heard so much about.

"You hear about a president coming in, smoking a cigar and writing a hundred thousand euro bonus for the squad if you beat Panathinaikos away.

"We won that game, funnily enough, and on the bus back to the airport, all the boys are at the back and they're divvying all the money out and the money's about to come to me and I said 'no, no, no. I've got a contract, don't worry about it, I don't want the bonus.'

Moore smartly decided against taking the money. 

"I think in that kind of culture that you can be under their spell. So I never took it.

"Two weeks later, we got a bad result and the president wanted the money back. [Laughs] So that's why I didn't take the money.