Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis will make his fist appearance this season for the Sky Blues in their most critical match yet against Perth on Saturday.
He’s been in the stands watching the drama at Sydney FC unfold over the past 18 weeks and now midfielder Terry Antonis will make his first A-League appearance this season in the under-siege club’s most critical match.
Antonis will make his long-awaited comeback from injury against Perth at Allianz Stadium on Saturday with coach Frank Farina confirming the 20-year-old will start.
No team is under more pressure to win this round than Sydney who have endured a tumultuous week since their 3-0 drubbing by Adelaide last week where frustrated fans revolted and called for Farina’s axing.
After suffering their seventh loss in 10 matches and a club-record third-straight defeat at home, the entire Sky Blues squad are hungrier than ever to prove they’re still in the title hunt.
But perhaps no-one is more eager than Antonis to step out onto the pitch this Saturday.
Having endured almost nine months out, after rupturing a muscle in his thigh, Antonis rejoined first-team training in December.
He’s since played three times for the youth side that last weekend clinched the title, with Antonis scoring the opening goal in their 2-1 victory over Brisbane.
And now he says having gotten any nerves out of his system playing in the youth team, he’s ready to go.
“I’ve been out for so long now I’m just so excited to be back,” he told AAP on Friday.
“I gotten all the nerves out now so I’m just ready to rock and roll.
“Yes, there’s a lost of pressure on us this week for sure after what happened last week but the boys have been coping really well and training really well.
“We’re all just really hungry to win this weekend.”
Farina also confirmed Socceroos defender Sasa Ognenovski will make his Sydney FC debut on Saturday after signing with the club this month.
The 34-year-old centre-back has not played since being released by Qatari club Umm Salal in December but Farina, who coached him at Brisbane Roar, feels he’ll be able to slot straight in.
“Yes they’ll both start,” Farina told Sky Sports Radio’s the Big Sports Breakfast on Friday.
“Big Sasa he’s looking good physically. He hasn’t played for a couple of months but I’ve known Sasa since my days in Brisbane and he’s a real pro and he’ll add something for us.
“And young Terry it’s great to see him back. He had a career-threatening injury so we had to handle him with kid gloves but he’s ready to go now and hopefully he’ll pick up where he left off.”