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The Making of James Troisi

by John Iannantuono on Jun 07, 2011

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The moment his left foot struck that sweet volley from the edge of the 18-yard box, you knew it was going to be a decent outing against New Zealand for James Troisi.

Sure, the ball sailed past Glenn Moss’s left handed post and hit the signage instead of the back of the net, however there’s little doubt that the execution of that shot provided an injection of confidence a player like Troisi needed on such an important occasion. (Yes, it was a friendly, but try telling that to a player who has overcome a debilitating groin injury that restricted him to 14 starts last season for Turkish side Kayserispor and needs to make as good an impression on Holger Osieck as Pippa Middleton did on the male population. After all, chances for Troisi in the green and gold have been few and far between, given he was pretty much frozen out by former boss Pim Verbeek and denied a seat on the plane to South Africa.).

Before Troisi’s display against the All Whites, the Aussie footballing public could have been permitted for thinking he just another promising talent doing the rounds in Europe who was (yet) unable to replicate his good club form with the national team. I know, it’s a harsh assessment for a 22-year-old who up until the New Zealand clash, only had the three Socceroo caps to his name.

Whether it was the new hairdo, having his family in the stands or the fresh opportunity, Troisi unveiled a side of him that we’ve often heard about, yet hardly seen.

He was as energetic getting forward as he was tracking back, claiming the left flank as his own and occasionally sub-letting it to Michael Zullo. His runs were positive; his positioning clever. Passes were calculated — and while some went astray, his efforts to regain possession had to be applauded.

He linked instinctively with the likes of Neil Kilkenny, Brett Holman, Zullo and later Robbie Kruse in a sequence of one-touch moves, weaving through the New Zealand outfit like a slalom skier gliding through the gates.

And then to cap it off, a confidently converted penalty at the death sealed a performance that may very well signal the coming of age of James Troisi.

Let’s just hope it was a glimpse of what’s to come from this silky cat rather than a hometown cameo.