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Extraordinary Scenes Down Under As 'Keeper Faces Former Fans After Signing For Arch Rivals

Extraordinary Scenes Down Under As 'Keeper Faces Former Fans After Signing For Arch Rivals
By Gavan Casey Updated

"Keeping it together will be biggest test for Vedran Janjetovic on return to Sydney FC." That was the headline of the Australian Daily Telegraph ahead of today's Sydney derby.

"Things will start to feel a little different for Vedran Janjetovic at the point when he turns right instead of left off the players’ tunnel and into the visitors’ dressing room, not the home one," wrote Tom Smithies, Football Editor at The Telegraph down under.

"Then, of course, there’s the walk down that tunnel at about 7.45pm and into the maelstrom as Sydney FC supporters offer their thoughts on a player so recently one of theirs but now supplanted into the enemy camp."

No player in history has ever represented both sides in the Sydney derby, but Janjetovic traversed the city from Sydney FC to Western Sydney Wanderers back in December. This was Aussie football's 'Figo to Real Madrid', and indeed Janjetovic was greeted accordingly by his former fans.

The Sydney massive in 'The Cove' end of Allianz Stadium greeted the Croatia-born 'keeper's arrival with bilious abuse, and as the 29-year-old stared them down - a brave move, all things considered - they pelted his goal with, of all things, snakes (made of rubber, thankfully). Who said the Aussies don't take 'soccer' seriously?

In fairness to Janjetovic, he took it with a pinch of salt, grinning into the cameras as he turned back towards the pitch. The game itself was a bit of a dud; the Croat kept a clean sheet for his side, but so too did his counterpart in Sydney FC's Danny Vukovic.

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After all the hype, fans were treated to a stalemate. Perhaps football in Australia isn't so different after all.

[r/soccer]

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