Easy decision to re-sign Dimi: Vitja

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka says it was an easy decision for the club to re-sign young star Dimitri Petratos after the 18-year-old today signed a two-year A-League contract with the Sky Blues.

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka says it was an easy decision for the club to re-sign young star Dimitri Petratos after the 18-year-old today signed a two-year A-League contract with the Sky Blues.

Lavicka invited the talented attacking midfielder, who spent the previous season with the Sky Blues National Youth League team, to train with the A-League side before the start of the 2010/11 season and after a string of good showings in preseason soon earned himself his A-League debut.

Since, he has gone onto cement his spot in the Sky Blues starting XI.

“It was not hard decision because we know Dimi’s quality. We identified him when he played for Sydney Olympic, so full credit for him,” Lavicka said.

“Last season he trained with us partly, he played for Sydney FC youth team but he developed very well so we’re wishing him all the best. I have to say full credit for his family because he’s from a football family, his father and his big family have supported him well.”

“This season for us is a difficult season, much different from last one but we identified him and other young players, he’s shown his quality and is helping us play better football this season.”

On a confidence boosting two-match win streak, Sydney FC hosts arch rivals Melbourne Victory at the SFS this Saturday night (7:30pm kick-off) which is a must win for the Sky Blues in order to stay in contention for a finals spot.

Lavicka said despite both team missing a host of key players, the match would live up to those played between the sides in previous A-League seasons.

“Every clash against Melbourne Victory is amazing for both teams, for football fans. I think we have improved now in this last part of the season, so we are focussing to keep going the same way against them and try to get good result and play good football for Sydney FC fans,” Lavicka said.

“They’ve had trouble this season as well, they’re missing a couple of key players but the same for us. I think both teams have other quality players in their squads, so it should be an entertaining game.”

Sydney FC will be without strikers Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque, defender Hayden Foxe and youngster Terry Antonis for the clash but have turned in much improved performances in victories over Newcastle and Gold Coast in the last rounds.

Matt Jurman has been a rock in the centre of defence since the injury to Foxe while a fully fit Nicky Carle, left back Scott Jamieson and Petratos have been stand outs in the consecutive wins.

Lavicka called on Sydneysiders to get out and support his team on Saturday night.

“The rivalry between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory is one of the biggest in the league.

“We are able to play good football and we will try to get the fans a good result. We need good support from the stands. If many Sydney football fans come to support us, it will be great co-operation.”

Sydney FC vs. Melbourne Victory
Saturday, 15 January 2010
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Local kick-off: 7:30pm
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Assistant referees: Daniel Dewhurst Scott Edeling
Fourth official: Kris Griffith-Jones

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2, FS2 HD and Sky Sports 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club partner is SBS 6 (Digital), 774 ABC (Melbourne) and SEN. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au.

Sydney FC: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 10. Nick CARLE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 17. Matt JURMAN, 18. Juho MAKELA, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23, Rhyan GRANT, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS
*three to be omitted*

In: Brendan GAN, Kofi DANNING, Rhyan GRANT (all promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Hayden FOXE (groin – 2 weeks), Mark BRIDGE (stomach – 1 week), Alex BROSQUE (groin – 1 week), Terry ANTONIS (knee – 3 weeks)

Melbourne Victory: 1. Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 3. Mate DUGANDZIC, 4. Petar FRANJIC, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Matthew KEMP, 8. Grant BREBNER, 9. RICARDINHO, 11. Marvin ANGULO, 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Billy CELESKI, 15. Tom PONDELJAK, 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17. Matthew FOSCHINI, 18. Danny ALLSOPP, 19. Evan BERGER, 20. Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 22. Geoff KELLAWAY, 23. Adrian LEIJER (c)
*four to be omitted*

In: Petar FRANJIC (promoted), Matthew FOSCHINI (promoted), Geoff KELLAWAY (promoted).
Out: Kevin MUSCAT (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: Archie THOMPSON (hamstring – 2 weeks), Surat SUKHA (calf – 2 weeks) Robbie KRUSE (international duty – 3 weeks)

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 20): Sydney FC wins 4, Melbourne Victory wins 7 (9 draws)