Melbourne Victory’s newest recruit, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, is prepared to fight for a place in Carlos Salvachua’s starting eleven ahead of the Friday's Melbourne Derby.
The 26-year-old defender returned to Victory following the departure of Tommy Deng to Urawa Red Diamonds, as Salvachua looks to bolster his squad ahead of a busy period of fixtures.
“I have been training all week and just trying to show him (Salvachua) what I can do,” said Gallifuoco. “The Melbourne Derby is a derby I have always wanted to play in, so fingers crossed I get that opportunity.”
Gallifuoco departed Melbourne in 2016 to pursue opportunities in England and Italy, before returning to the Hyundai A-League in 2019.
“In my 180-odd professional games I’ve played centre-back, right-back and I’m comfortable in all positions,” said Gallifuoco.
Gallifuoco believes that being able to play a number of defensive roles will enhance his chances of a place in the starting eleven. He will also be working alongside a fellow versatile defender.
“Leigh Broxham is a hell of a player and does a great job wherever he plays,” he said. “All I can do is hope I follow in his footsteps.”
As Gallifuoco re-establishes himself with the club and the city, he is adapting to life under a new Head Coach in Carlos Salvachua.
“I’ve loved it so far. He (Salvachua) is very involved in the sessions and constantly speaks about what he needs from each person and he is a good man manager. I’m just asking a lot of questions and doing exactly what he needs me to do.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for Melbourne because it was one of my first professional contracts,” said Gallifuoco reflecting on his earlier career. “For now we are just focusing on the next few games in this crazy period.”
A winning mentality
With an AFC Champions League campaign on the horizon, Victory will play five games in the space of three weeks.
Gallifuoco believes the current group of players has the right mentality and ability to succeed in Asia and domestically.
“I believe that the squad we have can make a push for the finals,” he said. “In the first half of the season we didn’t perform as we should have. I’m here to help and do whatever I can do to get the points that this team deserves.”