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Wednesday 14 November 2012

Sydney FC partner with Gelatissimo: interview, game experience, and more!

I am a bit of a football - or soccer- nut. Sometimes by default - the husband is obsessed with Liverpool Football Club and there is a shrine at home for the English Premier League team, and to honour greats like Ian Rush. But often because - with Italian bloodlines - it's kinda hard not to be caught up with the passion that comes along with following what's often touted as "the beautiful game" and "the world game."

And I may not know all my players and their histories, but having worked for Balmain Tigers Football Club in player promotions before and during the merge with the Magpies in 1999 and 2000, I appreciate the absolutely electric atmosphere that comes along with attending a game. It's breathtaking to be caught up in the utter 'madness' of it all.

And so, on Saturday night, I made the trek to Sydney's Allianz stadium to witness the sheer pleasure that comes from attending a live match. [Here's the 2012 Sydney FC team photo]:

With some Sydney FC fan buddies in tow, we sat down and were immediately swept away by the excitement. And sure, it was Sydney's turf, but fans of rival club Melbourne Victory made up a good number of spectators - on the night, over 21,000 people attended the match. This is so utterly wonderful to see. When I was associate editor at City Weekly it was at a time when Football Federation Australia were revamping the old National Soccer League [NSL] comp and forming the brand new A-League; I had the privilege of interviewing UK recruit and inaugural Sydney FC marquee player Dwight Yorke, as well as backer Anthony La Paglia - who happened to take a break from filming scenes for 'Without A Trace' on the streets of NYC for our phone call. Quite the thrill.

Also thrilling was the match last week... Sydney FC were on fire. They had the opposition in the palm of their hard, and made them work hard on the pitch. The 2-nil scoreline in Sydney FC's favour had everyone in raptures.

It seemed that everyone's eyes were firmly etched on THE star player for Sydney FC, this year's marquee recruit, Alessandro Del Piero.

The Italian-born player signed up to Sydney FC is a massively big deal - previous to this club he has only ever played for lauded Italian club Juventus - for 19 years in fact, and 11 as captain. He's mesmerising to watch, and it's obvious the Sydney FC team gel well with the newly-adopted 'Aussie'.

Sure, yes... the end result of the game wasn't we'd hoped. But Sydney FC fans are never-say-die folk, as Sydney FC keeper Ivan Necevski attests:

"Sydney FC fans are the most passionate and boisterous in the A-League and that helps us when we are playing at home but the fact a number of our fans also travel to away games helps us when we are on the road. They are also very loyal, which is a comfort as a player."

And boisterous we wereI was attending the event as a guest of the generous people at Gelatissimo, in honour of their new partnership with Sydney FC.

Says Sydney FC: "Gelatissimo is excited to announce our Partnership with Sydney FC! Celebrating the arrival of soccer superstar from Italy, Alessandro Del Piero, we’re honoured to share the real authentic Italian experience of Gelatissimo at each Sydney FC home game! Keep on the look-out for our GelatissiMobile and treat yourself… we want you to!

Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata said: “Sydney FC is proud to have such a well respected brand like Gelatissimo join the Sydney FC corporate family. There are some great synergies between Gelatissimo and Sydney FC as both business have the shared object of appealing to families and the A-League is a summer sport.

"What better way for a family to spend their summer afternoons in Sydney than to be watching Sydney FC and enjoying a Gelatissimo ice cream."

Couldn't agree more!

After Saturday night's game, I'll be coming along for more. Gelato and goals.

Agrees Necevski: "I hope we manage to give them a lot of enjoyment. Sports can be full of ups and downs and we have certainly had plenty of both and it has been nice to share those moment, especially the success, with the fans. In the end we just hope that the fans feel that they are an important part of our club and they have a sense of belonging."

As for star signing Del Piero, what does the team think he will bring to Sydney FC, both on the field and off?

Says Necevski: "Alessandro’s arrival has given the club a huge lift off the field with crowds up and an enormous amount of attention on the club. It is what we have all been waiting for. On the field he has been crucial with his performances but it is in and around the dressing room and training ground where he has been great. He is a tremendous leader, gives advice freely and his friendly nature has been great."

Expect to see more greatness from this player, and the entire team this season. Bring it.

To follow Gelatissimo news, click 'like' here: www.facebook.com/gelatissimo
For more on the Gelatissimo mobile [you can even book it!], click here: www.gelatissimobile.com.au
And to 'like' all things Sydney FC, click here: http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/sydneyfc/

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