Dean Bouzanis was the unlikely hero on Saturday as he was called upon to guide his side to an important opening round win and now has opportunity to make his mark in his first Melbourne Derby.
Anthony Caceres made the break-through against Wellington in the first half as City entered the break in the lead however, the game turned for John van’t Schip’s side when Thomas Sorensen was given his marching orders.
Bouzanis, who signed with City from the Western Sydney Wanderers at the mid-point of last season, was called upon and did not disappoint, making crucial stops including a stunning one-on-one save in the second half.
“I didn’t really have time to think, everything happened so quickly. It was surreal for it to happen and I tried to do my best for the team,” Bouzanis said.
Bouzanis will have the opportunity to make his first start for the Club this Saturday in the 20th edition of the Melbourne Derby. City head to Etihad Stadium for what is promising to be a much anticipated clash, welcoming Tim Cahill to the A-league for the first time.
“It’s a big occasion – you can’t hide from that. The boys are doing everything they can to prepare themselves so it’s going to be a massive game.
“Since coming to Melbourne City I’ve adapted well and the club has helped me progress through hard work and the support of the coaching staff.”
Bouzanis has also admired the bond that he shares with his teammates despite the constant battle for a position in the starting line-up. Squad depth has been a key in City’s winter preparations and Bouzanis’ performance on Saturday reflected this.
“One minute you could be in, the next you could be out. The most important thing is that we are a family – it’s a bunch of boys who want to work hard for each other.
“It’s about maintaining that connection and keeping the harmony. The sky’s the limit for this football club.”
Bouzanis and City take on Victory in the 20th edition of the Melbourne Derby on Saturday night, kick-off 7.50pm