Sydney Derby: players have their say on 'extreme' rivalry

Another gripping Sydney Derby awaits on Saturday night as Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers prepare to battle for bragging rights.

Ahead of what is set to be an epic encounter, we asked some of the recent protagonists from both teams for their memories and insights as to what makes the contest so special.


"It doesn't matter if you are first or eighth. Every derby is special because you have more pressure.

"I really enjoyed the first game last year, there were 65,000 people and it was unbelievable.

"I played many derbies in Ukraine, in Serbia. For me, Red Star v Partizan [the Eternal Derby] is the biggest derby I ever played in, but this one is similar."

Milos Ninkovic
Milos Ninkovic knows plenty about white-hot rivalries.


"It's pretty extreme. The two sets of fans have that dislike for each other. They really portray that in the stands and you feel that when you walk out on the pitch.

"You feel the good nervousness, which you need to have because the butterflies in the stomach is a good thing. If you didn't have that you wouldn't care about it.

"Then when you get out on the pitch, it's about 100% concentration and being in the moment."

Jonathan Aspropotamitis
Young defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis relishes the atmosphere.


"Last year's 4-0 win [was my favourite Sydney Derby moment].

"I can't beat it, everything kind of fell into place. We dominated them, I had my family over and I scored my first A-League goal.

"My mum, dad and girlfriend weren't coming out for the game - they surprised me that morning - and then that night we went out and won 4-0, I scored a goal and got to run over and celebrate with them. It was unreal."

Brandon O'Neill
Brandon O'Neill enjoyed a dream derby in 2016.


"It's quite obvious [which team I enjoy beating the most]. It's Sydney FC and I've been lucky enough to do that on two occasions in my career at the Wanderers.

"I hope that can happen again this season."

Santalab Wanderers fans
Santalab scored a famous winner in January.