Sydney FC's Michael Zullo plans to make up for lost time this season, with his inauspicious experience of playing overseas set to spur the defender on in 2016/17.
The 27-year-old finds himself at his fourth club in four years heading into the new campaign, following a loan stint at Adelaide United and move from Melbourne City.
Prior to that Zullo spent three seasons in the Dutch Eredivisie with FC Utrecht, and said the time spent at Stadion Galgenwaard will serve him well in his first season as a Sky Blue as he sets his sights on consistent first team football again.
“I took things for granted when I first got over there because it all seemed to come quite easily at the start of my career,” he said.
“But when you hit tough times, you realise what a great thing it is to be doing what we’re doing [as professional footballers] and when you find yourself out of the spotlight, you realise how much you miss playing for the first team and playing in the big games.
“Once you lose your position in the side, it can be hard to get back in.
“That’s why for me this season I’ll make sure I play every game like it’s my last and really appreciate it. That’s the attitude I need to stay in the game long-term.
“I want to be fit to play every minute of every game this year,” he continued.
“If I can string games together and get some consistent form, I can show my best football which is something I’ve been working towards.”
Zullo is aware of the growing stature of the Hyundai A-League. Since he left for Holland six years ago, the league has attracted high quality players and the football is at a faster pace than ever.
The 27 year old defender said the change in pace from when he left in 2010 was a standout feature of the domestic competition.
“There’s a massive difference in terms of quality to when I first left,” he said.
“It’s a much more competitive league to play in, it’s so much faster and physically demanding.
“It really requires a lot of professionalism and hard work to get up to standard because it’s such a high speed and high intensity competition.”
Sydney FC travel to face Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday 30 August (kick off 8:30pm AEST). Catch the match streamed live on foxsports.com.au
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