Perth Glory star Chris Ikonomidis says he's recovered well from shoulder surgery and is now fit and raring to go for another A-League season.
Rising star Chris Ikonomidis says he was never tempted to leave Perth Glory at the end of last season, believing another year in the A-League will be the best thing for his future.
Ikonomidis starred for Glory in their run to last season's grand final, and he also put in a series of hot displays for the Socceroos at the Asian Cup.
The 24-year-old's irresistible form saw him attract widespread interest from overseas clubs.
But Ikonomidis doesn't want to rush into just any old move, and believes another year in the A-League under master coach Tony Popovic will hold him in good stead.
Ikonomidis will also get to strut his stuff in the Asian Champions League after Glory qualified for the first time.
"The best option for me was to stay put, and continue learning and playing games and developing in this environment," said Ikonmidis, who moved to Italy at the age of 16 to pursue his football dreams.
"It's a career that you need to build up and not just go for the first thing that comes.
"You need to build up a solid foundation and make one step at a time, and put yourself in an environment where you can get better as a player, because ultimately that's going to be the best thing for you."
Ikonomidis underwent surgery during the off-season after dislocating his right shoulder in April.
The speedy attacker is now fully fit and ready to be launched back into games.
But just where his next game will be remains to be seen, with Ikonomidis to either start the season at Glory or be representing the Socceroos in World Cup qualifiers.
Glory's season begins at home to Brisbane Roar on October 13, with the Socceroos facing off against Nepal on October 10 and Taiwan on October 15.
"There's games coming up either for the national team or in the A-League, so I'm excited," Ikonomidis said.
"Playing for your country is the biggest honour in football."
Ikonomidis will join forces with Diego Castro and Bruno Fornaroli to create a potent attacking third for Glory this season.
He said the pain of last season's grand final loss to Sydney will help drive the group further.
"It gives us experience going into the next Grand Final," Ikonomidis said. "Grand finals are a particular type of match, and for a lot of us it was our first one.
"It's going to give us extra motivation and drive to get there and then finish it off."