Alessi: Wanderers hitting their straps


Wanderers defender Daniel Alessi believes the team is peaking at the right time.

The Premiers Plate may be gone but young NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers defender Daniel Alessi is confident the Red and Black are hitting their straps at the right time for an assault on the Hyundai A-League title.

The Wanderers moved back up to second spot after Sunday’s timely and emphatic 3-0 demolition of Perth Glory at Pirtek Stadium.

While the result couldn’t prevent the club from relinquishing their Premiers Plate to the Roar, it did snap a three-game winless run in the Hyundai A-League and was the first time since Australia Day they tasted success in front of their home fans.

But with Sunday’s win coming after back-to-back victories in the AFC Champions League, Alessi believes the Wanderers are now building nicely towards the business end of the season.

“Everyone’s playing their role whether it be the AFC Champions League or in the Hyundai A-League, the squad is very strong,” Alessi said ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Mariners on the Central Coast.

“Everyone has faith in each other and we’re very confident going into the next part of the season with the ACL and A-League games.

“There’s a lot of momentum building now. We’ve been doing well in the ACL and we had a great win (against Perth Glory) on Sunday.

“It’s all positive for the matches coming up so we’re in good stead for the finals as well as the next ACL games.”

Still in high school and just 16-years-old, Alessi has been given a small taste of the Hyundai A-League this season, making three appearances including a superb full debut in the local derby win over Sydney FC in January.

He has been training full-time with the senior squad since December and says working with former Socceroos defender and Wanderers coach Tony Popovic on a daily basis is invaluable.

“Just the little things that separates the rest that he Popa can teach me and he has that knowledge of is awesome,” Alessi said.

“The other defenders have been good mentors for me too. We always do a lot of structural drills at training and they always point me in the right directions.

“Matthew Spiranovic is still quite young so we’ve got a bit of a relationship and talk to each other in the change room and Nikolai Topor-Stanley as well is a great leader.

“I’m enjoying every minute of it and learning all the time and I just need to make the most of every opportunity now.”

And that includes at national team level as well. Alessi has spent this week in camp with the Young Socceroos as they prepare for October’s AFC Under-19 Championships in Myanmar. The tournament also acts as qualifying for next year’s Under-20 World Cup.

“These camps are so important. We’ve had a few now and you can see all the boys getting more comfortable playing with each other,” Alessi said.

“Every player really has to earn their spot in the squad and show the coach and selectors what they can do to represent the country at the qualifiers.

“It’s exciting because our coach Paul Okon has great tactics and influences us to play good football which a lot of us are keen to do and do at our clubs. Hopefully we can keep building and do well at the AFC tournament.”