Western Sydney Wanderers FC have confirmed the loan signing of Dimitri Petratos for the upcoming A-League season.
Growing up in Blacktown, Petratos is set to play for the Wanderers for the first time in his career following a season spent at Saudi Arabian side Al-Wehda where he featured in 28 matches and scored 10 goals.
Raised in the heart of Western Sydney, Petratos played his junior football at grassroots club, Blacktown Demons, before kicking off his senior football at Penrith Nepean FC.
Petratos broke onto the A-League scene in 2010 and went on to make over 200 appearances in the competition with 42 goals to his name at clubs Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets.
The 28-year-old has frequented the Socceroos squad and last played in 2019 in a friendly against the Korea Republic, as well as going to Russia in the 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Petratos said he was proud to represent his hometown club for the first time in his career.
“It’s exciting (to sign for the Wanderers) because I get to represent the place where I grew up in,” Petratos said.
“I’ve always wanted to play for the Wanderers but always something else popped up. So now it’s finally time for me to play for the team where I grew up. I’ll give my everything for the club.
“I’m not coming back to just be with my family and be in a comfort zone. I’m coming back to work hard. I want to win titles. I want to win the Grand Final. I want to come back and help the team achieve that stuff.
“I’ll definitely have the support from my family. I’ve played once at Wanderland and they’ve built an amazing stadium and it was an exciting time when I played there.
“So I’m looking forward to that being my home ground and I can’t wait to get out there.”
Petratos’ return to Western Sydney in the coming weeks is a homecoming that will see him not only reunite with his family in the region, but also some friends he’s made along the way of his career.
“I am long-time friends with Bernie (Ibini). It’s good to catch up and play with him again. We were friends in high school,” Petratos said.
“Steven Ugarkovic I played with for three years at Newcastle. We have a very good connection on the field.
“Terry Antonis, we are childhood family friends and we have known each other since we were five.
“I’ve known Ramy (Najjarine) since he was 10 year’s old as he used to play with my brothers and he came to some of the Academy’s my father had back in the day. It will be good to catch up with him and help him out, he’s a young player with a lot of talent.”
Western Sydney Wanderers CEO, John Tsatsimas, welcomed Dimitri and his family to the club.
“We welcome another Western Sydney boy back to the club for the 2021/22 season and we are excited to see what Dimi can bring to the club with his wealth of experience and leadership qualities,” Tsatsimas said.
“We wish him and his family a safe trip back to Australia and look forward to seeing him in the coming weeks.”
Head coach Carl Robinson said Dimi’s qualities will shine through at the Wanderers.
“First and foremost, Dimi is a fantastic person and someone any team is lucky to have in their dressing room and on the pitch,” Robinson said.
“Dimi has a great work ethic and understands what it takes to play in the A-League. He’s a naturally gifted footballer and will bring something special to our group of players which I am sure our fans and members will appreciate.
“We have a great deal of work to do, and we have a group that has grit and determination to get the job done on and off the pitch for this club.”
Source: Western Sydney Wanderers FC.