Glory unveiled the six-time Socceroo last week after he chose to leave Italian giants Lazio for a permanent move to Australia despite still having a year left on his Serie A contract .
The 23-year-old had previously had loan spells from Lazio with Serie B club Salernitana, Danish outfit AGF and Western Sydney Wanderers last term, where he scored three goals in an impressive 10-game stint.
But after five years with the Rome side, Ikonomidis had never been able to break into the Lazio first team.
The Sydney-born attacking midfielder’s move to Glory came as a surprise, but Ikonomidis said he was lured by Popovic’s project after the ex-Wanderers boss took over in the off-season.
“It’s about the project behind it,” Ikonomidis told FTBL. “It’s something I can build into now with a coach who wants to work with me.
“I wanted to be somewhere where I’m kept on my toes and I’m accountable for my performances.
“I want to work with him and it sounds like a good project.”
Glory have never won any silverware in the A-League era, reaching one Grand Final, two FFA Cup finals and only reaching the finals in five of the 13 A-League seasons.
The success-starved club have also seen off-field change with ex-Sydney boss Tony Pignata taking over as CEO.
Ikonomidis’s signing follows the off-season recruitment of Socceroos Matt Spiranovic, Ivan Franjic and Jason Davidson, along with Tomi Mrcela, Juande and Fabio Ferreira.
The highly-rated talent impressed during his time with Wanderers last season and hopes to make a bigger impact with the benefit of a solid pre-season with his new club.
“I played the last 10 games of last season,” he said. “I came straight in playing and scored three goals.
“I played all the games which I was happy with. I want to start the season from scratch now.”
Ikonomidis also has Socceroos aspirations but insisted they’re not front of mind, with playing regularly seen as the key firstly.
“Of course,” he said. “But you can only get selected if you’re playing.
“For me at the moment I’m focusing on my club football and doing well at your club, that’s when other benefits come like the Socceroos.”