Name: Gianluca Iannucci
Position: Attacking midfield or winger
Joined Victory: 2020
Youth teams: Cobram SC, Goulburn Valley Suns, Melbourne City
Gianluca Iannucci had a memorable Victory debut in 2020, coming on as a second-half substitute and scoring against Beijing Guoan FC.
The youngster joined Victory after being released by Melbourne City and was soon on the plane to compete in the 2020 AFC Champions League.
“I was grateful for the opportunity to play and I was stoked to score in our first game," Iannucci said.
“Scoring that goal gave me a lot of confidence.
“It was a deflection, but I’ll take it.”
Iannucci’s journey into the sport began in his backyard and with his local team.
“I used to play against my dad, one-versus-one in the backyard, when I was four or five years old,” he said.
“My dad and my uncles are passionate about the game and my dad was involved with Cobram SC, so it took off from there.”
On Friday, Football Victoria confirmed the cancellation of Victory’s NPL campaign, meaning no teams would be promoted or relegated across the state.
Iannucci, who made 12 appearances this season, has made an honest assessment of his impact on the squad.
“I would’ve liked to score a few more goals and assisted more, but my season has been stop-start due to many things,” he said.
“COVID has massively affected us and the other teams in the league and I missed a couple of games through illness, which isn’t ideal.”
Iannucci made his A-League debut against Western United in May, culminating his persistence and patience since his Champions League appearances.
“I sat on the bench for the Adelaide United game the week before, but came off the bench for the Western match,” Iannucci said.
“It was only for three minutes, but it was three minutes I hadn’t played before and finally I had taken that next step.”
Iannucci hopes to continue his transition into first team football and has been advancing his skills under Head Coach Tony Popovic and his assistants.
“My focus is on developing my game and trying to get on the ball as often as possible,” he said.
“My confidence is building and trying to be a player who grabs the game by its horns.”