Alessandro Del Piero scores goals for Sydney FC. It is, after all, his job. And if you ask the 39-year-old hitman, he has no plans to stop doing his job any time soon.
Alessandro Del Piero scores goals for Sydney FC.
It is, after all, his job.
And if you ask the 39-year-old hitman, he has no plans to stop doing his job any time soon.
“No, I want to be focused about this moment, about the present, about what I have to do in the short future,” said the ever-smiling Italian when asked the inevitable retirement question at his book launch in Sydney on Thursday.
“Honestly I really don’t really know what happens next year. The season finishes and I’m 39 and a half. I have to check my body, my mind, my heart. I hope to play again and play more.”
Which is, needless to say, great news for the long-suffering Sydney fans.
With two goals and two wins in a row for Del Piero and the Sky Blues, following three losses on the bounce when the veteran was out of the team through injury, the Italian has single-handedly dragged the clubs season back on track.
And, coming up against a struggling Wellington Phoenix side this Saturday night at home the Sky Blues fans will be expecting more of the same from their star marquee.
However, head coach Frank Farina is not getting carried away just yet.
“They’re a different side now,” warned Farina, referring to his side’s 7-1 victory in the corresponding fixture last season, in which Del Piero scored four goals.
“I think they’re a better side and I think they’ve got a good squad that can hurt you. Jeremy Brockie is a very dangerous player, as is [Paul] Ifill, and [Carlos] Hernandez.
With Del Piero having shouldered the scoring burden, some would argue, for too long, Farina has finally buckled, rushing new striker Ranko Despotovic into his 18-man squad for the clash.
The Serbian international has been training with his new Sky Blues team-mates all week having arrived in Sydney last weekend.
“Ranko is in with a chance of featuring in the game,” Farina said of the 6ft 1in striker.
“We’ll see how he goes in the next couple of days.
“We didn’t bring him here to just sit around so we’ll assess his physical state, but if he looks ok and gets through today and tomorrow there is every chance he will be on the bench.
“It’s about consistency though and at this stage we won’t make many changes to the team that played against the Heart,” he said.
Despotovic, 30, played for Japanese club side Urawa Red Diamonds and has also had goal scoring stints in Serbia and Spain.
With his new strike force now in place, and no end in sight for the ever-reliable Del Piero, Farina is now licking his lips at the season’s prospects.
“If we can win 80 percent of our home games then we’ve got a very good chance of making the playoffs and finishing high up on the table,” he said.