Australia have moved swiftly to reward Parma starlet Alessandro Circati for his Serie B breakthrough, handing the defender an Olyroos call-up ahead of June’s AFC U-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan.
Eligible for both Australia and Italy - his birthplace- Circati’s peerless Parma debut in the 4-0 weekend thrashing of Spal grabbed the attention of interim Olyroos boss Trevor Morgan, who was immediately on the phone to the rookie and his family.
AUSTRALIA QUICK TO NAIL DOWN CIRCATI
- Alessandro Circati, the latest Aussie to break through in Italy, has been handed an Olyroos call after an impressive Serie B debut.
- The young Parma defender was born in Italy but grew up in Perth, where he was on Glory's books before being snapped up by the club Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano once starred for.
- Still only 18, he's been training with Parma's senior side for nearly four months and is expected to taste more senior action in the coming weeks.
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With AS Roma’s Cristian Volpato also likely to commit to Australia, the FA hierarchy are making some pre-emptive strikes to ward off possible defections to the Azzurri.
Hence Circati's invitation to join a Netherlands training camp for Australia's U-23s later this month.
Former Perth Glory junior Circati, 18, has spent all but a year of his life in Australia, with father Gianfranco also on Parma’s books as a youngster before moving to Australia where he too appeared on Glory’s roster at the back end of a 20-year pro career.
“If the club allow him to go I think he will at the camp,” Perth-based Gianfranco Circati told FTBL.
“The plan is for him to be a part of the Olyroos team which is trying to qualify for Paris (2024).
“Trevor Morgan spoke to him yesterday and Alessandro was very happy about this privilege because when the national team is calling you it’s something to be proud of.
“I know my son and he told me he was very pleased to receive the phone call.”
Alessandro followed Parma - once home to Golden Generation midfielders Mark Bresciano and Vince Grella - from afar as a kid growing up in WA.
In a show of faith from coach Giuseppe Iachini he was handed his debut ahead of established internationals Yordan Osorio (Venezuela) and Botond Ballogh (Hungary), and was domineering and cool headed playing in front of legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
“It was a pretty big call by the coach to play him … it took some guts,” added Gianfranco.
“But it went well. I always tell him ‘if you play good it’s bonus. If not be ready for the next call up’, which I’m sure will happen again before the end of the season.
“He needs to keep working hard and learn from the players around him. He needs to be like a sponge.”
Confident, combative and powerful in the air, Circati fits the age-old Italian sharp-tacking stereotype.
Adept on either foot, the young gun is more a hard-edged old school destroyer than a flashy or flamboyant modern day stopper.
“He’s best attribute is his calmness,” added Gianfranco. “He never panics - I’m more agitated than him when I watch games.
“He looks like a man with no emotion. He’s never high and he’s never low. He’s not a prima donna at all.
“He’s a different sort of player than me - and I think he can do much better in his career than I did (spent mainly in Italy’s lower tiers).”
Relegated from serie A last season, Parma sit 14th - 12 points off the promotion playoff spots with 12 games left.
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