A long pre-season has left Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero champing at the bit for this year's A-League campaign to kick off.

Del Piero kicked off a long and arduous pre-season a full three months ago when Sydney FC toured Japan and Italy in July and August.

Now just three days out from the season start, the new skipper, fit and injury-free, is well and truly ready to get going.

"It (the pre-season) is very long," Del Piero said at Tuesday's A-League season launch.

"I'm not happy about that but it's a new thing, training a lot alone first of all, and then July and August with the team in Japan and Italy, and then the last month here.

"I think not only me but every player is happy this week we will start the A-League."

Sydney FC will kick off the season on Friday night when they host Newcastle at Allianz Stadium.

Part of the motivation for the 38-year-old in the season opener is a desire to relive the moment he scored his first goal for the club.

It came in last season's second round against the Jets via a 26th-minute penalty in front of a lively home crowd.

Sydney ultimately lost that clash 3-2, as Englishman Emile Heskey netted and Del Piero's second attempt shaved just past the post, but the Italian striker still recalls the day fondly.

"The Jets was a wonderful, beautiful day for me," he said.

"The first day at home, 35,000 (people), so loud, I scored a goal."

The Sky Blues averaged home crowds of almost 19,000 last season and coach Frank Farina was sure the Italian could take a chunk of the credit.

"Without exaggerating I think Alessandro had a lot to do with that," he said.

"Both the marketing, the exposure, the crowds. Everywhere we went crowds increased dramatically for our visits. And he was a key factor."

Farina concedes the pre-season has been long and difficult.

"As every other coach will tell you," Farina said.

"And we've picked up a few injuries of late, which is a bit disappointing."

The Sky Blues may have to take the field without defenders Tiago Calvano and Pascal Bosschaart and midfielders Nick Carle and Terry McFlynn.

Hard-working striker Corey Gameiro is also out for up to six weeks after falling over and dislocating his knee while filming a television promotion.

"You're talking about seven or eight of your first-team squad which is a bit disappointing," said Farina.

"But you've got to live with it and deal with it."

Farina said it was more than comforting knowing Del Piero would be fit.

The new skipper missed three friendlies after the Italy trip, but in a promising sign returned to play the full 90 minutes of the team's 3-0 loss to Perth Glory on September 29.

Just ask Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop who the biggest star is out of Sonny Bill Williams, Buddy Franklin or Del Piero.

"Too hard to say that one," Gallop quipped.

"But Alessandro was fantastic last season and for him to come back for a second season we're really delighted."

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel