Defender Johnny Koutroumbis got his first experience as a Wanderer in front of a raucous Sydney Derby crowd on Saturday night.
In front of a 23,000 sea of Red & Black and Sky Blue, the dynamic defender had a lot of expectations heading into arguably one of the biggest games of the Isuzu UTE A-League season.
“Look, first of all, I’ve only ever heard about the Sydney Derby before so there was a lot of expectation and it definitely lived up to it,” said Koutroumbis.
“The crowd was amazing, 23,000, it was unbelievable. You couldn’t hear each other on the pitch at some stages especially when we were going forward.
“It was intense, the build-up to the game during the week built a lot of pressure in the game.”
Having spent the last five seasons in the domestic competition, Koutroumbis knows all about the passionate Wanderers supporters who he believes can help be the difference for the club this season.
“I remember when Western Sydney first came into the league, the RBB was a massive thing and I remember as a kid my brother and I used to listen to the chants on YouTube,” said Koutroumbis.
“Honestly, it lived up to my expectations even further.
“Just looking back at the fans throughout the game with those flags and banners, they sang throughout the whole game.
“It felt like a different atmosphere and they can definitely play a part this season being our twelfth man.”
Koutroumbis is set to line up against his former club for the very first time in his career, a moment he will take in once the business is done on the field.
“I was in Newcastle for five years, they gave me my first opportunity to become a professional footballer and for that, I am forever grateful,” said Koutroumbis.
“Coming up against them (the Jets), I am a bit nervous.
“I care about the game and I care about getting the win and three points.
“I don’t think it’ll hit me until I walk onto the pitch and see some familiar faces.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Next match: Wanderers v Jets
Sunday 28 November 2021
CommBank Stadium, 6:15pm
Grab 2 for 1 tickets using the code 2FOR1 here