June 17, 2015 13:19:26 UK
Winger Robert Stambolziev hopes to build on his positive with Sydney FC from last season, after inking a one-year deal with Graham Arnold’s side.
The 24-year-old signed with the Sky Blues on an injury replacement deal in January, returning to play in his native Australia for the first time since 2007.
He impressed Arnold in his nine appearances for the club, which all came as a substitute.
His name was missing from the Sky Blues’ retained list a fortnight ago, suggesting he would be heading elsewhere.
But Sydney have confirmed the Melbourne-born player, who saw game time in both the club’s post-season friendlies against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, will stay for next season.
Stambolziev has scored one goal since arriving at Sydney, netting the winner in their 4-3 win against Newcastle Jets in April.
The former Panathinaikos player, who joined from Greece Super League club Niki Volos, said he regarded Sydney FC as a massive club and was pleased to sign up for another season.
He was on the bench for the Sky Blues’ 3-0 Grand Final defeat to Melbourne Victory last month.
“After experiencing the Grand Final in 2015 I want to go one better next season and to be able to test myself in Asia is a huge drawcard as well,” he said.
“I’m really grateful that Graham Arnold and the coaching staff have shown this faith in me and I hope to repay that faith through my performances on the field.”
Arnold said former the Australia U-20 player gave his club more depth in the wide areas.
“Robert was a great worker last season and his application in training to push for a starting role was very impressive.”
He added. “I’m looking forward to harnessing the attitude Robert showed last season and developing him even further as a footballer.”
Sydney FC are 5.00 to win the A-League Grand Final next season and Melbourne City are priced at 9.00.
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