WITH a hat-trick of goals for Sutherland, Panni Nikas is hoping a scoring spree will leapfrog him back into A-League calculations.
Nikas has been among the best for an inconsistent Sutherland Sharks side, highlighted by his three goals in the team's 4-3 win against Blacktown Spartans FC at Seymour Shaw Park on Saturday night.
He scored two first-half goals, including a penalty, followed by another in the 82nd minute.
"I've been happy with the way I've been going," Nikas said. "I've missed a couple of chances and could be going a bit better."
The Sans Souci junior is looking to revive his A-League career after the collapse of North Queensland Fury last year. He made his debut with the Central Coast Mariners.
Nikas was close to joining the Western Sydney Wanderers after spending a week training with them recently.
"They just told me things won't eventuate and are looking at overseas players," Nikas said.
"They were pleased with how I trained but it's a coaching decision." Nikas had offers to join clubs in India and Indonesia but wanted to stay in Sydney to finish his teaching degree.
He will graduate at the end of this year.
"I definitely want to finish my degree off," Nikas said. "If there's nothing for me in the A-League I'll possibly move overseas."
In the meantime, Nikas is focused on rescuing the Sharks season.
They sit in eighth on the premiership ladder, facing an uphill battle to reach a top-five finals spot.
"We still have a belief that we can make the finals," Nikas said. "We'll fight to the death."
Sutherland play Marconi Stallions (away), Parramatta FC (home), Sydney Olympic (away), Blacktown City FC (home) and South Coast Wolves (away).