5 of the most controversial A-League transfers

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Fans have had something to say when their once-loved player decided to go to the dark side, but have the most controversial A-League transfers ever been ranked?

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I have gone through the league’s transfers from year to year to bring you some of the most heated and controversial moves by players to rival clubs.

5. Alexander Baumjohann

A move for the 2019/20 A-League season saw the creative attacking midfielder leave the Red and Black for the Sky Blues. Awaiting him was a sold-out round three derby which he was nothing short of prepared for.

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Baumjohann sensed success at Sydney FC, and had publicly made it aware his time at the Wanderers was displeasing – I guess all the hopeful winners try to make their way to the Blues?

Following the announcement of the signing Baumjohann said at a media appearance about his belief in Sydney FC.

“Sydney FC’s style of football fits well with my ability and I can see there are a lot of good quality players here as well,” he said.

“I believe we will continue with the same success as the club has had in recent years this season.”

The German is the first major import to have played for both Sydney clubs but I do not think it’s a title he should be extremely proud of claiming.

4. Mate Dugandzic

The first Melbourne rivalry snake, Dugandzic moved from Victory after two seasons with the club to sign with Melbourne Heart in the 2011/12 A-League season.

He had a belief in the Heart’s style of football, in particular, the emphasis on maintaining possession and taking advantage of the width of the field as it suited his personal strengths.

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At least Dugandzic admitted the move was not an easy one and expected some of the backlash he was about to encounter.

“I don’t believe it’s going to be the warmest of welcomes,” Dugandzic said during an interview with The Herald Sun.

“It’s something I decided to do, and I have to take the criticism along the way.”

Even if you tried to show some empathy towards the decision, you were still the first major Melbourne intra-city switch, so of course, you had to make the list.

3. Terry Antonis

Let me tell you a story – it’s the 2017/18 A-League. Antonis returns from a stint overseas and signs with Melbourne Victory.

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He’s played against his old side Sydney FC but it’s the semi-final that will go down as his most memorable since his switch.

With seconds to go, Victory were up 2-1 and had almost secured a spot in the grand final. Sydney takes the ball into their attack and who other then Antonis scores an own goal.

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The slack he received from the Sydney fans sparked a hunger for redemption. In extra time, Antonis took hold of the ball in Victory’s defensive half, took a run down the wing, and cuts the corner of the box.

Redmayne comes off his line allowing Antonis to slip the ball past him into the goal. From absolute heartache, he turned the night into a celebration by securing Victory a spot in the grand final.

This one brings a feeling of indifference. Sydney fans were furious, Victory fans could not believe what just happened. But the tears flowing from Antonis were enough to prove how happy he was to have won it for his new club.

2. Kosta Barbarouses

Barbarouses left Melbourne Victory and signed a multi-year deal with his old side’s rival team Sydney FC in the 2019/20 A-League season.

The Big Blue sourness was taken to a whole new level when Barbarouses expressed a similar mindset of Baumjohann for joining Sydney FC.

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During a press conference to announce his new contract with Sydney, he said he was nothing but happy about his new club.

“I’m very happy to be signing for Sydney FC as it’s a club I’ve heard so many great things about,” he said.

“They’ve had some extraordinary success in recent times, and I want to be here to help continue that.”

A man Sydney FC once mocked, booed and wished nothing but for him to miss in front of goal, is now a man they cheer even when he’s got possession of the ball yards out from the net.

1. Vedran Janjetovic

The original snake. He made the villainous switch from Sydney FC to Western Sydney Wanderers in December 2016.

After an exceptional performance for the Sky Blues in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 A-League seasons, Janjetovic’s cross to the rivals did not go down well with the fans.

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Sydney’s active support group, the Cove, provided him with a bitter reception, going to the extent of throwing plastic snakes at the goalkeeper during his first appearance against his old side.

Neither side took home the win in the derby clash, but Janjetovic had his moment to settle his nerves by taking a powerful save in the 2015/16 derby.

The next day he responded in true derby spirit on social media by posting the now infamous photo with a snake lolly in his mouth.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan 

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Tricia Mifsud
Covering Melbourne Victory during the 2019/2020 season. Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism) at Latrobe University. Dedicated to writing articles that sports fans want to read.

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