Player movement in the A-League is nothing new.
Often referred to as a ‘merry-go-round’ it is not rare to find players having played for several A-League clubs over the span of their careers.
Liam Reddy is currently at his seventh club while Kosta Barbarouses has just signed for his fourth – to the disappointment of Victory fans.
While Barbarouses leaving is not unexpected, signing for Sydney FC is and adds another layer to next season’s Big Blues.
In light of this move – here are some of the A-League’s biggest shock moves between rival clubs.
- Vedran Janjetovic (Sydney to Western Sydney Wanderers)
The goalkeeper’s move from Sydney FC – where he made 100 appearances – to the Western Sydney Wanderers added a significant subplot to the first derby in 2017/18.
With over 40,000 fans packed into the Sydney Football Stadium – Janjetovic marched towards a wall of Sky Blue, coming face to face with people who once adored him. The baptism of fire exacerbated when members of the cove begun letting their feelings known by throwing snakes towards Janjetovic.
Albeit it was Janjetovic who had the last laugh as the Wanderers went on to win the derby 1-0, in what was nonetheless an emotional night for everyone at the stadium and a famous Sydney derby moment.
- Seb Ryall (Melbourne Victory to Sydney FC)
It would be fair to say Melbourne Victory fans are not all too fond of Sebastian Ryall.
Despite only making 34 appearances for the Melbourne Victory, Ryall is always subject to jeers from the Victory fans whenever the two sides meet.
Not only is he the first player to make the move from Victory to the Sky Blues – but his ability to rise for the occasion whenever the two sides meet always leaves Victory fans seething.
Though the 28-year-old seems to thrive off whatever his former club throw at him, having scored four of his nine goals against the Victory and has had his fair share of heated exchanges with former teammates.
- Matt Millar (Central Coast to Newcastle Jets)
One of the more recent – and surprising – moves saw Matt Millar sign for the Newcastle Jets for the 2019/20 season halfway through 2018/19.
While Millar is yet to face his former side, there is no doubt Mariners fans will not be pleased by his departure given they gave him his first professional contract after signing the wing-back from South Melbourne.
Millar was allegedly asked to leave training when club officials were notified that he was not going to renew his contract and would instead sign for the Jets.
To make matters worse Millar was arguable the side’s best player that season – providing a glimmer of hope in another dull season for the club, making it all the more difficult to see him go.
- Harry Kewell (Melbourne Victory to Melbourne Heart)
There had been no bigger signing in Australian football when Melbourne Victory unveiled Socceroos hero Harry Kewell for the 2011/12 season.
The former Leeds and Liverpool winger scored eight goals in 25 appearances, but was forced to depart the club after a family emergency in the UK.
Kewell was linked to several English clubs – including Blackburn Rovers – but would go on to sign for Melbourne Heart for the 2013/14 season after three appearances for Qatari side Al-Gharafa.
The former Socceroo made 16 appearances for Heart and scored two goals – one of which came in a 4-0 thrashing of Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.
- Terry Antonis (Sydney FC to Melbourne Victory)
While there were a few other clubs – including a loan spell at the Western Sydney Wanderers – along the way, Sydney FC fans would not be too happy seeing one of their local products thriving at the Victory.
Antonis made his Sydney FC debut as a teenager before making another 68 appearances which resulted in a move to Greek giants PAOK.
It would be a few years until Antonis signed for Melbourne Victory where he saw regular football again.
Since then the midfielder has not looked back and who can forget his inspirational – and emotional – performance in the semi-final against his former club?
6. Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory to Sydney FC)
Last but not least – Kosta Barbarouses.
The Kiwi international departs after his best season at the club, scoring 15 goals and forming one of the most potent front lines alongside Ola Toivonen.
It’s not the first time Barbarouses has left the Victory, with Sydney FC reportedly set to offer him marquee wages and will most likely replace Reza Ghoochannejhad and partner up with Adam Le Fondre.