Another derby done and dusted… until next month. We take a look at the top 5 players, that were once played for our rivals Sydney FC. This list wasn’t easy to order, if you disagree leave a comment!
Honourable mention – Shannon Cole
The only remaining foundation player left at the Wanderers after NTS left the club in October. Playing 50 games for the Red and Black he scored 2 goals. His first goal became crucial in helping the Wanderers win their maiden premiership, securing a 1-1 draw with his former club Sydney FC in round 26 of the regular season.
His 2nd goal became something of folklore, scoring against FC Seoul in the 2014 AFC Asian Champions League to secure a 2-0 win in the 2nd leg of the semi finals, sending the Wanderers into their first ever Champions League final against Al-Hilal. Cole was also selected as the 2014 AFC LB of the year.
Honourable mention #2: Terry Antonis
Originally, I wasn’t going to include Antonis into the mix. However after seeing the Cove’s anger towards Vedran “Judas” Janjetovic, I decided it would be hard to not include one of Sydney’s favourite sons.
Playing as a defensive mid, Antonis plaed 69 games for Sydney from 2010-2015, scoring 5 goals including the game winner in our 4-3 derby defeat. Antonis is quite a signing for the Wanderers, having played a number of youth games for Australia and appearing in the first team 3 times. It is a tough pill for Sydney FC fans to swallow, but Antonis and all his potential are now ours.
5. Scott Jamieson
“Jamo” who is now at IFK Goteborg was only with us for one season, but many regard him as one of our best Left Backs that we have had at our club. Appearing in 29 games for us, he was one of our start players in defence. However, in 2010-12 he made 48 appearances for the sky blues. Hard to remember, I know. Either way he earns #5 on our list, and who could forgot the yellow card he received over the disappearing spray incident?
4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley
Foundation player and former captain for the Wanderers, NTS was originally a Sydney FC reject. “Hyphen” as he was known by The Cove played a 14 game stint as an injury replacement, and despite his “outstanding performance” coach Terry Butcher did not renew his contract. From there NTS went to both Perth and Newcastle before finally being released to play for the Wanderers from 2012.
A great custodian to the club, NTS played hard and will be known for clearing the ball as far as humanly possible, with little regard as to where it ended up. He will also be fondly remembered for helping deliver the Wanderers the Champions League trophy with his defensive efforts in 2014.
3. Mark Bridge
Mark Bridge is another of our foundation players that came from Sydney FC. Although unlike Nikolai, he came directly from our rivals. In 2012, his contract was mutually terminated after 80 appearances for the Sydney club.
For the Wanderers, Bridge has become our highest goalscorer with 28 goals from 95 appearances in his 4 seasons. He scored the first goal for the club in round 4 of the 2012-13 season against Brisbane Roar, and out first hat-trick in the 6-1 win against Adelaide the same season in round 16.
2. Brendon Santalab
The super sub, the fan favourite… Santa! I think it’s safe to say most people forget that Santa was once a smurf. He played 2 seasons for 23 games, scoring 4 goals. Although, one of those goals did win goal of the year in 2007-08.
Since joining us though, he has truly become a great player both on and off the pitch, Between writing letters and visiting fans in hospital, to sending signed memorabilia to fans, he truly is a great ambassador for the club. On the pitch he has made 56 appearances for us for 21 goals, chasing down Bridgey to claim our top scorer position.
1. Vedran Janjetovic
Before the derby, Janjetovic probably wouldn’t have made the list. However after seeing the Cove taunt him with boos and throwing snakes onto his net, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to place him at number 1. Judas, Snake, King Cobra, Vedran has had a few names thrown at him this last week, but the one he appreciates the most is Wanderers Goal Keeper.
Having played 100 games for the Sky Blues and being a fan favourite there for the passion and fire he showed on the field, it felt a bit strange signing a rival player directly from them mid season. However all doubts were put to rest after his brilliant finger tip save against City, that had me having flashbacks to Covic’s save in the ACL final. His performance in the derby solidified what we already knew, that from now on he is starting keeper. Not only that, but he is OUR starting keeper.