Western Melbourne Group made a significant statement on Friday when they announced the signing of Greece international Panagiotis Kone.
The 31-year-old attacking midfielder is the first player to join the Hyundai A-League’s newest team, who will enter the competition in the 2019/2020 season.
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SIGNING NEWS: Western Melbourne Group announce Kone deal
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And fans should be excited about the Greece international gracing our shores, with the exciting Kone likely to make a big impact in the Hyundai A-League for many reasons.
The ability to score the spectacular
Kone was nominated for the 2013 FIFA Puskas Award for a simply stunning bicycle kick he scored for Bologna in the Serie A.
But that effort was not a one-off, with Kone’s goalscoring ability from distance highly regarded.
Be it volleys, chips or fierce efforts from distance, Kone certainly knows where the goals are.
Kone will surely be in the running to captain the new Hyundai A-League club, given his history of leadership.
He captained Bologna in the Serie A and speaks good English, meaning he could be the man to wear the armband.
“He’s got many years left but he’s also keen to mentor the younger players that we’ll have in the squad,” football agent Lou Sticca, involved in the Western Melbourne Group bid, told FTBL.
A career largely spent in Serie A and in Greece’s Super League means Kone is more than capable of handling pressure.
He has also represented Greece with distinction, winning 28 caps and featuring at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Embracing the community
Melbourne’s big Greek community was on full display as Stefanos Tsitsipas embarked on a giant-killing run at the recent Australian Open and Kone is sure to be similarly embraced.
“He was fascinated by this opportunity. The large Greek community in Melbourne certainly captured his attention,” Sticca told FTBL.
“His personality - for sure he’ll be a hit with the fans. They’ll love him.”
Paving the way for others
Signing a player of Kone’s obvious quality will not only enhance Western Melbourne Group’s international reputation.
The signing could also pave the way for other players - excited by the prospect of playing with Kone - to join the club.