Giancarlo Gallifuoco’s long wait is over as the defender passed his medical to complete the formalities of his move to the A-League champions Melbourne Victory on a one year deal. The new recruit thought long and hard about his next move after leaving Swansea in the offseason. It will be the first time the Australian has played on home soil since leaving Sutherland Sharks in 2012 to join Tottenham Hotspur where he played alongside Socceroo, Massimo Luongo.
“I knew that the next season of my career had to be a big one,” Gallifuoco told Football Central.
“I knew I had to jump up from regular U/21s football to a first team player, playing first team games and getting ready to represent my country in a first-team aspect.”
Other offers came in from England and Europe but for the Olyroos defender’s goals it was Melbourne Victory that ticked the most boxes. The chance to work with former Socceroo Kevin Muscat who has been where the former Tottenham youth player wants to be was a big factor in his decision.
“What attracted me to Melbourne Victory the most was the opportunity to be coached and mentored by not only such a successful manager, but one that had such a successful career playing the same position I currently play.
“I think I’ve chosen a great mentor and role model in Kevin Muscat for me to be able to progress to the next stage in my career.
“He has promised to make me the best player I can be, that’s all I can ask for.”
Gallifuoco won’t be going in blind either. He regularly watched the A-League while in the UK and spoke to friends and national team teammates who played in the A-League.
“I’m lucky that I’ve actually watched a load of Melbourne Victory games whilst I was in the UK,” revealed Gallifuoco.
“So I had a good idea of their style of football, pace of the game and high quality of the players on the team.
“I’ve also played Olyroos with some of the players at Mebourne Victory and have spoken to Kevin Muscat plenty of times throughout the negotiation process to be able to gain the best perspective of the goals he wants to achieve for the season.”
Participation in the Olympic qualifiers is a major goal for the 21 year old. After the disappointment of failing to qualify in 2012 there is a noticeable shift in selection policies with the recent squad seeing more overseas based Aussies involved early on in the process. Previously, the difficulties of getting players based abroad released for fixtures because the matches weren’t on FIFA dates, was cited as a problem.
“Kevin Muscat is very supportive as he has three other players in the (Olympic) team and one of our main objectives is for me to be at my best for the Olyroos games, and hopefully help get Australia to the Olympics,” said Gallifuoco.
Gallifuoco is a tall and powerfully built defensive player who can play as a centre back or defensive midfielder. He has a good passing range and has proven handy for the odd goal from set pieces when playing for the Swansea and Tottenham U21 teams. This will be his first full season of senior football so there is a lot to learn about how the Australian youth international will adapt but he’s hoping for a “smooth transition” to first team football.