Off-contract striker Joel Chianese admits he's unsure if his future lies with Sydney FC but is putting contract talks aside amid the Sky Blues finals push.
Off-contract striker Joel Chianese admits he's unsure if his future lies with Sydney FC but will put contract talks aside to focus on making sure the Sky Blues make the Hyundai A-League finals.
Chianese has endured an injury disrupted campaign but has returned to first team action recently and grabbed the goal in last weekend's vital 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory.
The 24-year-old is one of 11 players currently on the Sydney FC books that have yet to finalise his future beyond the end of the current season.
"I've been very loyal to Sydney FC. I've been there now for a number of years, it's my home city, I'm around family and I'm comfortable," Chianese told www.footballaustralia.com.au.
"I hope Sydney does come to me with an offer and something to consider but I'll have to look after myself if the offer doesn't come from Sydney.
"I'm happy anyway. I just want to do well for myself and for the team this year.
"At the moment I'm really just focused on getting back and playing 90 minutes, being in that starting 11 and scoring a few goals. Contract talks will continue once I'm done with that.
Like many Australian youngsters, Chianese's dream is to one day head off and play abroad.
But he is no rush to make it happen, preferring to establish himself as an A-League star before taking the next step in his career.
"For me it's about trying to get as much consistent game time as possible, being injury free and playing week in, week out," said Chianese, who has been a part of the Sky Blues' senior squad since 2011.
"That's what I feel I need, that's why staying in the A-League was perfect for me. It may be that I still may need another year in the A-League, play a full season and get that match practice.
"There's so many opportunities now. Asia is obviously closer and a lot of boys are taking that route. Or you can go like some of the other boys to the German league which is good for developing players.
"There's a lot of things I have to weight up once the season ends. At the moment I have to stay fit and hopefully we can have a good finals run.
"Opportunities do arise overseas and if I think it's the right one for me I'll be happy to take it on because I think every player wants to play at the highest level possible."
For now though it's all about qualifying for the finals, with Sydney needing to win their final two matches to ensure their spot in the top six.
They take on Wellington Phoenix on Sunday before a battle with last-placed Perth Glory a week later, both on their home patch at Allianz Stadium.
After missing the finals last season and with experienced stars like Alessandro Del Piero, Sasa Ognenovski and Richard Garcia in their side, Chianese admits it would be a failure if the Sky Blues missed the playoffs.
"We do have that expectation every year that Sydney does well being one of the biggest clubs in the league," the Blacktown junior said.
"There would be that sense of under achievement if we didn-t make the finals. We planned from day one to make the finals.
"I don't think it would be a great for Sydney in general if we didn't make it, especially with two home games against two teams that are below us on the table."
Sydney does have history on their side for Sunday's clash, with Wellington losing on eight of their last nine visits to Sydney.
He added: "I want to do well for the team especially and at the same time I have to be looking after myself as well.
“Hopefully opportunities do come up for me whether it's with Sydney or elsewhere.
“Let's hope we make the finals first."
Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix 6 April 5pm Allianz Stadium #SYDvWEL Click here to purchase tickets. The match will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports 3HD