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Antonis wants to score for Wanderers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/01/2017 Emma Kemp

He used to take pleasure in scoring against Western Sydney.

Now with the Wanderers, Terry Antonis relishes the thought of putting goals past other A-League rivals.

And feeling in good shape, the midfielder could get a chance in 10 days against former club Sydney FC.

Antonis has started training with the Wanderers, having signed on loan from Greek Super League outfit PAOK for the rest of the season.

Though he spent five campaigns with fierce rivals Sydney, the 23-year-old is now hanging his hat on his Bankstown roots and youth career with St Christopher's and Marconi Stallions, saying he's "pretty much played all my football out west".

Many Sky Blues fans won't remember that - they'll more quickly recall Antonis' late winner that sealed a thrilling 4-3 triumph over the Wanderers in his last derby nearly two years ago.

Sydney had blown a three-goal lead in the red-and-black territory of Pirtek Stadium, only for Antonis to come off the bench and net in the 75th minute.

It also won't be forgotten that as The Cove sang "this city is ours" another cross-town defector, Vedran Janjetovic, made a brilliant save in the dying seconds to ensure Sydney, by then a man down, would emerge victorious.

The history will bubble to the surface ahead of next Saturday's derby at Allianz Stadium.

With Antonis and Janjetovic a chance of facing their former teammates and coach Graham Arnold, there'll be more spice than ever before - and that's before mentioning ex-Wanderer Andrew Redmayne will probably sit on Sydney's bench.

Antonis said he was looking forward to scoring for the Wanderers.

"Every goal you score is a good feeling, but to score your first goal for the club will be a very good feeling," Antonis said.

"I feel alright (fitness wise).

"I'm going to build myself up, see what the coaching staff reckon about when I'm ready and we'll go from there."

A return to the A-League is a positive for Antonis given his scarce game time during a tough 18 months overseas.

Four appearances for PAOK and two minutes on loan at Veria read his statistics since leaving Australia.

It's something he hopes to turn around under Tony Popovic, with whom he worked during Popovic's time as Sky Blues assistant coach.

"I've learnt a lot from him in the past and hopefully will in the future," he said.

Popovic was pleased with what he'd seen so far.

"He hasn't played a lot of football," Popovic said.

"(But) looking at him his fitness looks quite good, he looks in good shape compared to before he left."

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