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Chianese’s imminent Sky Blue return

Joel Chianese has had to defy all the odds that were stacked up against him to be where he is today.

At 14 years of age, Chianese’s future playing career was uncertain after a hard tackle left him with an awful cut on his leg. Unexpectedly the cut resulted in Joel falling extremely ill with infection and diagnosed with Scarlett Fever.

“We weren’t really sure how things were going to work out from there and if I was even going to get through that,” Joel Chianese told The TURF.

With support of his family, determined Joel recovered and didn’t let the setback stop him from playing football, eventually gaining a scholarship overseas in England which saw him training with Ipswich Town. He described the experience as a turning point in his career and understanding the hard work it took to become a professional footballer.

“It did change me, I saw from that stage that my game picked up, I worked harder at training and my game improved.”

Joel Chianese came back to Australia as a fitter and stronger player. Taking the confidence gained from his experience with Ipswich Town, Chianese displayed consistent form, playing well and showing signs of great development with  Blacktown City’s youth team.

The strikers career progressed after earning himself a spot in the Sydney FC youth team. The breakthrough for Chianese came in his second year with the youth side, catching the eye of caretaker coach Steve Corica.

Performing well and scoring goals, he was encouraged to start training with the first team and eventually proved his worth after being offered a contract in Sydney FC’s first team squad for the Asian Champions League in 2011.

Working full time in a government job, Chianese had to make the decision to sacrifice his job for a full time professional footballing career with Sydney FC. Thankfully his decision was the right one and the risk was worth the reward.

“I had to make a decision whether I was going to keep working or go take the chance, and I decided I’d leave my job, ill take the chances that I want to do and it worked out from there”.

Chianese took the opportunity by storm scoring six goals from 9 appearances in 2011/2012 only to be struck down by injury again. He started the current 2013/14 A-League season in similar fashion to 2011/12, scoring in Sydney’s first match of the season against Newcastle Jets.

After tallying three goals in the first eight rounds, Chianese had taken his game up to another level and was playing regularly each week only until a frustrating ankle injury kept him on the sidelines once again.

“I’m hoping to be back in action in the next week or two if possible.. I’ll continue with the rehab at the moment and hopefully I’ll be back soon.”

For Joel and many other players in the squad, the arrival of Marquee signing Alessandro Del Piero has benefited the team as a whole. He described ADP as a leader and a mentor to the himself and the players.

“His sharpness is incredible… The boys just look at that and see what they need to do. Looking at the way he creates space for himself by watching him you pick up little things that you try and you learn from that. He’s a leader when he’s on the field and performing well everyone just lifts when he’s doing well.”

Chianese hopes to bounce back from injury and return to the form he had at the start of the season. If he can continue to score and perform on the park every week, a spot in the Socceroos squad for the Asian Cup in 2015 is definitely not out of the question.

“That’s every players dream, they want to play for their country. I’ll just keep playing well and hopefully just stay on the pitch, get some good game time in and perform well. You never know, things can change very quickly in this game.”

Joel Chianese will be hoping to return to Sydney’s starting 11 sooner than later and hopefully help them get back on a winning run after three consecutive losses in a row.

After speaking with the 23 Year old Sydney FC striker, I quickly came to appreciate his determination and never say die attitude after having to endure so many speed humps that have held him back along the way. He never gave up, which is a good lesson for many young footballers who are looking to make it professionally.

Be sure to watch out for Joel Chianese as he has a bright future lined up ahead of him…

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