Antonis ‘highly motivated and driven’ as he signs for Melbourne City, eyes ACL success

Melbourne City have signed experienced central midfielder Terry Antonis on a one-year deal.

The 29-year-old joins the reigning Premiers after a two-season stint at Western Sydney Wanderers; he made 21 appearances for the club in 2021-22 but did not get on the park for Marko Rudan’s side the following season, going unsighted in the Isuzu UTE A-League before departing the club via a mutually-agreed contract termination in May.

It was the end of a second stint in red and black for a player with 144 A-League Men appearances to his name accrued at the Wanderers, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.

Antonis joins Tolgay Arslan and Steven Ugarkovic in arriving at City to reinforce a midfield unit without Valon Berisha, Aiden O’Neill and Richard van der Venne who have all departed in the off-season.

“Melbourne City has been the most successful club in Australia in recent years, so obviously things are going right,” said Antonis of the club with three consecutive Premierships to its name.

“When my agent came to me with the move, I saw it as a really exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to working with Rado again.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a few Champions League campaigns both in Australia and while playing in the K-League, so that’s an opportunity I’m really looking forward to having again.”

“I’m hoping I can add some experience to the squad and I’m really excited to play for this great club alongside some great players.”

Antonis has made 12 AFC Asian Champions League appearances throughout his career, and expressed his excitement at adding to that figure as City ventures into the continental competition for the second time in club history.

He was also part of the Socceroos’ successful 2015 Asian Cup squad, although he didn’t play a minute throughout the tournament.

City director of football Michael Petrillo said the goal is to facilitate Antonis’ return to the top of his game, and he arrives at the club in “excellent physical condition.”

“Terry is a player highly motivated and driven to get back to playing football to the level he has previously,” Petrillo said.

“We have done our due diligence and know that he is in excellent physical condition.

“We have seen the quality of Terry’s game in previous seasons; he has a great attacking mindset, excellent technical ability and the physical capacity to become an important part of our midfield.”