Ikonomidis: 'There's only one thing missing'
Perth Glory’s surge to the Hyundai A-League Premiership has come as no surprise to winger Chris Ikonomidis, who insists the club’s preparation for battle is second-to-none as they look forward to Friday’s Semi-Final clash with Adelaide United.
Ikonomidis, who turned 24 this week, enjoyed a tremendous regular season for the Glory as they powered their way to the Premiers Plate, scoring nine goals, registering three assists and earning himself a nomination for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award into the bargain.
Like the rest of Tony Popovic’s team, he is now firmly focused on rounding off the campaign by adding the Championship to the trophy cabinet.
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“The city’s really buzzing for us. They’re really getting behind us,” Ikonomidis told Fox Sports’ Bill & Boz Show on Monday night.
“There’s only one thing missing, that’s what everyone’s feeling at the moment.
“It’s only a couple of weeks to go [to the Grand Final], but if we can do that as well it’ll be something very special for everyone here in Perth.”
Ikonomidis, who joined the Glory from Italian giants Lazio in September 2018 following a successful loan spell with Western Sydney Wanderers last season, added: “It’s pretty close to what I was expecting, what I put on myself expectation-wise.
“Before making my decision I had quite a few offers in the A-League, especially. I really took my time. I looked at the squad and talked a lot with the boss here, and everything felt right about this project.
“I didn’t want to do something short term, a quick loan. I wanted to do something with a bit of an idea behind it.
Also in the back of my mind was getting back into the Socceroos and playing in the national team, and fortunately that’s all come true.”
One of the hottest young talents in the Australian game, Ikonomidis said that much of the credit for the team’s development this season must go to Glory boss Popovic and his backroom staff.
I’ve never been in a team in my career, and I’ve been at big clubs, that’s been as prepared. [That has] such attention to detail as this one.
“Every little detail that goes into running our team this year has been phenomenal. It’s been a pleasure to work with a background staff that’s so thorough with everything.”