Twelve months ago James Troisi’s career was going nowhere. But things are certainly looking up now. Photo: Getty ImagesTwelve months ago James Troisi’s career was going nowhere. Yes, the 25-year-old attacker might have been on the books of joint owners Juventus and Atalanta, but that was a technicality.
He wasn’t playing, there was little interest and he knew that his hopes of cracking a place in the World Cup squad were non existent in those circumstances.
So when then Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou asked him to consider joining the A-League club on a season-long loan deal, the Adelaide born Troisi decided to heed the request.
It isn’t easy for players in his situation – mid 20s, having played for the national team and been in Europe most of their professional careers – to return and play in domestic competition.
Some might see it as a step back, some might feel their pride dented, while others would regard it as a failure.
Not so Troisi. Even if he might have had doubts he impressed right from the start during his time with Victory, initially under Postecoglou, then under Kevin Muscat.
There was a moment or two when things could have turned out differently for Troisi in Muscat’s early days as a coach, when he publicly upbraided Troisi when the player seemed to be heading straight for the dressing room having been substituted for tactical reasons in the first half against Adelaide United at Etihad Stadium. Muscat made his player return to the bench and watch the rest of the half from the pine.
To his credit he knuckled down and made himself an indispensable part of Victory’s midfield and attack, eventually finishing the season as runner-up in the Johnny Warren medal behind German import Thomas Broich.
His form also put him right in the frame for a World Cup place, something he acknowledges would not have happened had he stayed in Europe. His presence in Brazil is vindication of his decision to come back, reload, and then go again.
”Ange gave me a phone call overseas and told me to come back but obviously I still have a lot to do. I have had a very successful season and want to continue that. I am here today for what I have been doing,” he said.
”Everyone is anxious and trying very hard, everyone wants to be in the final 23 or even the 11. We are all working hard, but unfortunately that’s how it is in football, some people have to miss out.”
Not that he believes he will.
“I think I have done enough to get into that final cut. I will continue to work hard in training and I am feeling good about it,” he said after another intense training session when Postecoglou called his players together on several occasions to talk as he watched them competing in a small-sided game.
Numerous players were missing good opportunities, but Troisi said the coach wasn’t talking to them about their profligacy in front of goal in a training game.
”No, it was towards the end, and everyone was pretty tired, but it was quite a conditioning session today and one of the last ones we will have leading up to the game on Monday (against a Brazilian club side)”, Troisi added.
For so many players the World Cup is a shop window, and Troisi is no different. He is hoping to relaunch his career in Europe, but says the focus has to be on the task ahead first. Like his teammates he, too, is happy that the public, and perhaps even the opposition, have written off Australia’s chances before a ball has been kicked.
”I am still contracted in Italy for two more years, after this I will sit down and see what options I have.”
Told by a journalist that the Chilean team had made a TV commercial to motivate their players which focused on their group but didn’t mention Australia, Troisi shrugs.
”I haven’t seen it, but for us it doesn’t really matter, we are going to focus on the three games and do the best we can. In a way, maybe it’s good. No-one thinks we are going to be successful, so we want to show them differently.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.