Midfielder Terry Antonis says he envisages a settled future with A-League club Melbourne Victory.Terry Antonis says he wants a long-term future at A-League home Melbourne Victory, hailing the enthusiasm and drive of coach Kevin Muscat.
The 24-year-old midfielder arrived in Melbourne in January as a mid-season acquisition after failing to crack the first team at Dutch club VVV-Venlo.
In a show of faith rarely seen in ambitious young ns, he signed on a two-and-a-half year deal that takes him through to the end of the 2019/20 season.
Antonis said he was in no hurry to head back abroad to give European football another crack.
And he credits Muscat for that.
“I want to keep playing here under Kevin,” he said.
“Kevin knows how to get the best out of you. People like working under him and playing under him.
“He was the captain at the club, one of the longest-serving people here at the club.
“He loves it and wants the best for it. To be at a club where someone wants that so much, you also end up wanting that.
“Like I said to the boss, I’m still not 100 per cent fit so there’s still heaps to come out of me too.”
It’s high praise from Antonis, who has played club football under Graham Arnold at Sydney FC and Tony Popovic at Western Sydney.
He’s also worked under Ange Postecoglou as a member of the Asian Cup squad in 2015.
That’s the last trophy-winning team Antonis has been a part of, and he’s conscious that the chance to grab another will present itself over the next six weeks.
Victory host Western Sydney at AAMI Park on Saturday night, where three points will effectively seal qualification for the A-League finals.
Muscat’s side loom as a dark horse for the championship after a good month of form.
A winning run came unstuck with a 1-0 loss to Perth last weekend but Antonis said it “hadn’t hit momentum”.
“It’s one game. We’ll keep focused and keep going,” he said.
Socceroos pair James Troisi and Josh Risdon will be assessed by both managers after their international exploits.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Melbourne Victory have the wood over the Wanderers, not tasting defeat in their past seven match-ups – including a 3-0 last-out win.
* It’s been a while since Western Sydney tasted a win in Melbourne, failing to win in eight visits to Victoria – including a 3-0 smashing by Melbourne City last weekend.
* Victory will move ahead of Melbourne City and back into third place with three points.