Brisbane Roar youngster Dimitri Petratos has signed a two-year contract extension following his recent good form for the A-League leaders.
A-League leaders Brisbane have been given another boost with young gun Dimitri Petratos signing a two-year contract extension.
The 21-year-old will now stay at the Roar until the end of the 2015-16 season after initially only signing a one-year deal when he joined the club from Sydney FC last June.
Petratos has made a strong impact in his first campaign with the Roar, scoring four goals in his past two matches including a hat-trick in a 5-2 demolition of his former club on Boxing Day.
All up Petratos has made 11 appearances for the Roar, with four starts, as the two-time A-League champions have opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the table.
“When I joined the club, my focus was on getting game time but I knew I would have to work hard,” Petratos said.
“I feel like I’ve grown as a player since coming to Brisbane so I hope I can keep doing that.”
Roar coach Mike Mulvey says the new deal is a reward for Petratos’s hard work and patience as he was integrated into the team.
“I’ve been impressed with his attitude since joining us,” Mulvey said.
“Dimi understood he needed to be patient and now he’s reaping the rewards.”
Mulvey named a 17-man squad for Saturday’s home clash with Adelaide United, including veteran fullback Shane Stefanutto and star striker Besart Berisha.
Stefanutto will slot straight back into the team after his long stint sidelined with a hamstring injury in place of youngster Corey Brown, who is part of the Australian team competing in the under-22 Asian Cup in Oman.
With one player still to be omitted from the squad Berisha’s return from a hip injury complicates things for Mulvey with Petratos one of several players who have shone in the Albanian’s absence.
Roar defender Ivan Franjic, who has been one of the shining lights for the in-form Roar this year, said the selection dilemma was a welcome problem for the club.
“It’s a tough decision and a good headache to have I believe,” the Socceroo said.
After the Roar backed up that drubbing of Sydney with a 3-0 thrashing of the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park, Franjic is challenging his teammates to combine consistency with their performance in the second half of the season.
“This is what we planned to do midway in the season – be on top and open up a gap in the league, which we’ve done,” Franjic said.
“Hopefully, we can continue that in the back half of the season which is the most important bit of the season.
“It’s important to get some consistency now. We’ve had two great performances so, if we can continue that, we’ll really come home strong.”