Alessandro Del Piero’s presence has already had an inspirational effect on his Sydney FC teammates according to emerging star Joel Chianese, who wants to form an attacking partnership with the Italian superstar.


It was the hands rather than the celebrated feet of Del Piero that were kept busy at a club fan day on Sunday.

The Italian great spent over an hour signing his name and posing for photos, where it seemed the majority of the crowd of around 2000 took away some memento of the former Juventus striker.

He thanked them for a “perfect” first week in Sydney.

“It (the training) is hard with the jet lag but very good and I hope to get better day by day,” said Del Piero, who may play a little in Wednesday’s behind-closed-doors trial with Central Coast at Allianz Stadium.

In one week, Del Piero’s presence has already upped the ante for his new teammates.

“The boys have just stepped up that extra level now that Alessandro is here,” Chianese told AAP.

“Everyone wants to impress him and get on his good side.”

Chianese, who burst onto the A-League scene last season with six goals in nine games, could be one of the chief beneficiaries of Sydney’s signing of Del Piero, a player he has previously admired from afar.

“He’s one of the players I looked up to when I watched Serie A, the Italian league,” said Chianese, who has Italian bloodlines and sheepishly admitted he has supported Roma rather than Juventus.

“I want to cement a nice partnership with him.”

Sydney coach Ian Crook is keeping his options open about playing Del Piero as a No.9 or No.10.

Chianese suggested the Italian could line up in the latter role.

“I think he wants to get on the ball so maybe No.10 might suit him more, to be putting myself and Mitch (Mallia), or some of us quicker guys in,” Chianese said.

“If I can play in front of a guy like Del Piero with all that experience and quality about him, I’m sure he’s going to be feeding balls through for me and hopefully I put them away.”

Chianese’s on field-value to Sydney could be increased by his “almost fluent” Italian, though he hasn’t been called upon to act as an interpreter for Del Piero too often.

“He speaks very good English,” Chianese said.

Chianese recognises he won’t have the same element of surprise that enabled him to take the A-League by storm last year.

“Everyone sort of knows what I’m about now,” Chianese said.

“I’ve got a little bit of extra work that I need to do, I’ve tried to get a bit stronger in the pre-season especially if I play that No.9 role, where I’m sort of going to be on my own with a couple of defenders around me.”

Sydney will wear the Sydney深圳桑拿论坛会所, logo on the back of their shirt this season after clinching a sponsorship deal with Destination NSW.