Petkovic's A-League punt pays off

He had never seen an A-League game before and had no clue what life in the harbour city would offer - but Sydney FC defender Nikola Petkovic says his decision to travel halfway around the globe was well worth the 'risk'.

He had never seen an A-League game before and had no clue what life in the harbour city would offer - but Sydney FC defender Nikola Petkovic says his decision to travel halfway around the globe was well worth the 'risk'.

The Serbian arrived in Sydney shortly before the A-League season started and has been a mainstay of the Sky Blues' back four in all eight games of the campaign so far.

But while he has looked right at home on the field in central defence, Petkovic admits he was apprehensive when he first touched down in Australia.

"It was strange a little bit when I first arrived, first of all when I got the offer I thought about whether to come or not," Petkovic admitted.

"Australia, it's far. Everything's good about the country and Sydney's one of the best cities in the world, but it's far from Europe.

"But when I decided to come here I was surprised. The people are very friendly, everybody wants to help you, the players, the staff in the club, even people in the city if you go to restaurants, it's nice so life is good."

Petkovic's football journey has taken him to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Russia and Turkey in nine seasons as a professional.

Pressed on why he decided to accept Sydney FC's approach, the 27-year-old, who has set up home with his wife and young son, admits lifestyle was a big factor

"To play here it's a good life. I like my family to feel comfortable and this is the story I heard about Australian life, so I said 'ok I'll take the risk'," he explained.

He admits he has been impressed by the standard of the A-League and says the arrival of former team-mate Ranko Despotovic has also made him feel even more at home.

"I played with him a long time ago when I was 19 in Serbia and he is a good player," Petkovic said of the Sky Blues' new striker.

"He's fast and strong and he's played 60-70 minutes and has scored two goals and I hope he will continue like this.

"Now he'll be in the first XI for the first time on Saturday night and for our team it's important to have one really, really good striker like him."

But while Petkovic says he has clicked with all of his team-mates, he openly admits he is still star struck by one of them.

"To be honest every day when I see him I say, 'wow, I play with Alessandro'," he said of skipper Alessandro Del Piero.

"For me it is something special, every day when I shake hands with him I can't believe it.

"We are lucky because we have this guy in the team, it's really amazing."