Young gun Antonis back for Sydney FC
Young gun Terry Antonis is back and vowing to help resuscitate Sydney FC's season against A-League table-toppers Adelaide on Friday night.
While superstars Alessandro Del Piero and David Beckham dominate discussion and Sydney fans keenly await the overdue return of Socceroos midfield ace Jason Culina, Antonis is plotting his own impact.
Fresh from helping the Young Socceroos qualify for the 2013 under-20 World Cup in Turkey, Antonis is eager to reunite with Del Piero at Allianz Stadium.
The 19-year-old midfielder has been hanging off Del Piero's every word during overtime training sessions with the little Italian maestro.
"He's one of the best players in the world and doing anything with him is a privilege," Antonis said on Wednesday.
"On the ball, off the ball and off the field as well, he's a true professional so I'm just learning everything off him.
"At training, I think all the boys are starting to get to know him and everyone's starting to build good combination plays with him.
"Personally, he just tells me: 'Go have fun, you're a young boy and soccer's about having fun'.
"Of course, you've got to do extras and stuff like that, but he's just a great person and you always take the advice from him."
Antonis's absence while in the Middle East coincided with Sydney's three-game losing streak after the Sky Blues recorded back-to-back wins over Western Sydney and Perth immediately before his departure.
"I'm really happy to be back and can't wait to play on the weekend," he said.
"I'll give it my best. I'm going to run, do all I can to help get three points for Sydney FC this weekend.
"Everyone's focused on the game. They're the top team, they're coming first at the moment and are playing great football.
"So it's going to be a tough game, but it's an opportunity for us.
"We want to win - we're firing. Training this week has been really good so you'll see all the boys fired up."
Sydney FC are running last seven rounds into the competition but Antonis insisted all was not lost less than a third of the way through the season.
"We're not putting our heads down or anything," he said.
"We're being positive so firstly we're looking at this week.
"That's the most important thing, to get the three points."
Caretaker coach Steve Corica is tipped to make a bundle of team changes following his side's hat-trick of defeats, with Culina likely to make his comeback via the bench after almost two years sidelined with a knee injury.