Sydney FC boss Ian Crook is hoping Alessandro Del Piero's quality will shine through once the "circus" surrounding his arrival dissipates.
Former Italy international Del Piero is arguably the biggest name to ever play in the A-League after opting to try his luck in Australia after 19 years with Italian champions Juventus. Crook has already ruled the 37-year-old out of the final pre-season friendly against Newcastle on Saturday but is hopeful he will be ready for the A-League opener away to Wellington on October 6.
"It's always difficult at the beginning because everyone wants a little part of him which is fair enough," Crook said at the end of Del Piero's first training session today. In time it will wane and we're certainly expecting it to be like a circus for a bit.
"But at end of it it's a fantastic addition for our game and our club. He's a great guy and he just wants to play. That's what he's here to do. Today he wasn't going to do a great deal yet he stayed and did the whole session which was good."
Crook confirmed Terry McFlynn would remain as captain of the side although Del Piero would definitely be a part of the club's leadership group. Asked where the former Juventus star would play, Crook said it would be in the "No9 or 10 role".
"That's where made his career," the Sky Blues boss said. "I'm not going to go and readjust it now and turn him into something he isn't. I'll sit and speak to him but he'll certainly be in that front third."
Socceroos midfielder Jason Culina is still training with the Sky Blues as he recovers from a knee injury. Crook said they would continue to monitor Culina's progress with a view to possibly signing him to play a part this season.