Joel Chianese is fluent in Italian; an asset that has helped him get to know Alessandro Del Piero, he just wishes it would translate into an on-field combination.
Joel Chianese drops the shoulder, looks like he is going left, darts right, latches on to a pass from Alessandro Del Piero then bangs the shot home with authority.
The scene is from Sydney FC training as their Italian star and the fluent-in-Italian youngster carve up their opposition. It-s a sight Sydney FC fans and Chianese himself welcome.
For Chianese, who burst on to the scene with a string of flashy performances late last season, 2012/13 has to date been a write-off. It was supposed to be his coming-out party, then injuries struck him down, Yairo Yau and Blake Powell stepped up and the rest is as they say, history.
Now, he-s back and looking to reclaim his mantle as Sydney-s superb youngster, with Del Piero, a boyhood hero pushing him all the way.
If the story sounds familiar, it-s because it is. Blake Powell also fell under Del Piero-s spell. The difference being Powell was always a Juventus fan, Chianese admits to being a Roma man, but it doesn-t mean he doesn-t enjoy a special link with ADP, and it-s one Chianese is hoping to see blossom on the park.
“Tiago speaks Italian as well, Fabio bits and pieces, Zeljko as well, but as far as the players yeah, my Italian-s pretty good. It-s been a bit of a shame that we haven-t been able to work up a combination on the field and use it,” laments Chianese, before admitting he is taking advantage of the linguistic connection.
“Alessandro is very good with his English, he didn-t find it too hard slotting in, but if he needed anything and didn-t understand, and I was there on the pitch I-d help out, it-s always nice to be in the good books, hopefully that banter on the training field can turn into an on-field partnership.”
While Chianese respects Del Piero, he does admit he-d be a bit more star-struck of a man who once crippled the Socceroos were to come out and join him, but he-s grateful for the ADP experience.
“Originally I-m a Roma fan, so Francesco Totti, who Alessandro is good mates with was my idol growing up, but my family go for Juventus, so growing up watching him play, even when we heard that he was perhaps coming to Sydney it was a bit surreal, but now he is just another teammate, but one who happens to be a legend.”
Legend that Del Piero is, Chianese is happy to sit back and take his advice, even if he does cop the odd spray for making the wrong move.
“I think he (Del Piero) is doing really well, it helps that he stays back at training and works on things with attacking players, if I-m not making the right runs he will tell me ‘this is where I want you to be-.”
With the news that Del Piero has re-signed, Chianese will get the opportunity to get a real partnership with the Italian star going in the not too distant future, given that they both have done new deals with the club. His own deal is one Chianese is happy with, believing it marks the start of a new era for himself.
“It means I-m secured for next season which is good, having an injury-ruined season isn-t the greatest, but to re-sign is great news, hopefully now I can start to cement my spot in the eleven that I am now fit, and signing on shows the club have a bit of faith in me.”
And what of Sydney-s season? Much has been written about how they are coming along of late and the striker believes the possibilities are endless.
“Once you-re in the six anything can happen, even Adelaide, they-re dropping off a bit, we might be able to sneak fourth position if we keep winning, and then in the finals I think we-re a chance.”