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Jason Trifiro impresses on the field. Jason Trifiro impresses on the field. Featured

PROFILE: Jason has the style to be a Wanderer

By Roger Sleeman

IT  all happens again next weekend when the A- League commences version 9 with the big clash of the round being the rematch of last year’s grand finalists, Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers, at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

Free from the mass hysteria surrounding the AFL and Rugby League, the match will be a sell out in Gosford.

For Wanderers midfielder, Jason Trifiro, who signed his first A- L eague contract last season, the opening match of the season commands even greater significance as he attempts to become a permanent fixture in the starting line-up.

Last season Trifiro played in fifteen games but only started in four so ultimately it’s all about gaining more time on the pitch to convince senior coaches, Tony Popovic and Ante Milicic, that his role is crucial to the team’s success. 

“I have been given excellent game time in the six trial matches and hopefully I’ve pleased the coaches sufficiently to start me against the Mariners”, says Trifiro.

“Nevertheless, you can’t take anything for granted and I’m intending to train the house down this week so I give myself every chance to be on the park at kick off time”.

Ironically, Trifiro was sent off in the second match against the Mariners last January for a second bookable offence but he wants to blot that incident from his memory.

“I received an early yellow card for being slightly late in a tackle and after making contact with an opponent when I mistimed another tackle, I was shown the way to the dressing shed.

“It was disappointing because I’ve rarely received marching orders in my career but more importantly, we lost that home game by two goals to nil”.

If Trifiro is to be picked as a regular during the season, he will have to raise his level of performance because the strong squad at the Wanderers provides fierce competition for places.During the pre-season matches, Tony Popovic persisted with playing two different teams in each half to examine and compare combinations,” says Trifiro.

“The fact we have such a great squad, where 23 players in the roster can fill a role, speaks highly of the depth in the club and the recruitment ability of the coaching staff .Of course this is particularly critical if injuries start to mount up”.

Trifiro faces great competition in the midfield from Mateo Poljak, Aaron Mooy, Iacopo La Rocco and Shinji Ono but at the same time he can seek solace that he will be playing with such talented performers.

In the recent trial match against Bankstown Lions, Trifiro played in the defensive midfield holding role, next to Poljak and Mooy.

There were times when he was in possession of the ball and came forward to link with other players but after releasing the pass, he didn’t continue his run, preferring to retreat to his deep defensive midfield position.

Also, there were moments when there was space behind the Bankstown defence which he could’ve exploited, particularly to support Tajh Minniecon on the right flank.

Critically, Minniecon was isolated several times and left with the choice of beating at least two defenders or playing early crosses into the penalty area in the hope one of his team-mates would connect on goal.

Football is all about the entertainment business and sometimes players are used in static roles.

Spectators pay to see skilful players like Trifiro and hopefully this season he will be able to get forward sometimes and even score some goals.

Peter Tsolakis, the former South Melbourne and Heidelberg great, who coached Trifiro at Northcote City in 2011 when he won the Victorian  Premier League Player of the Year award, had this say to about Trifiro: “Jason is technically one of the best players in the country, with a good football brain and passing range, and that special ability to know where to find the ball. He is the Australian version of the Barcelona greats, Xavi and Iniesta”.

Marshall Soper, one of Australia’s greatest strikers, also coached Trifiro and made the following comments: “Jason has a strong work ethic with the playmaker’s skill and touch on the ball which makes him an asset to any team in the middle of the park”.

Nick Stavroulakis, the Sutherland NPL midfielder, who was recently chosen in the NSW NPL Team of the Year for the second year running said: “Jason is a player definitely born in the wrong country in terms of his playing style. Italy would’ve suited him because his technical attributes make him one of the best I’ve ever played against”.

Despite his tender age of 25, Trifiro has always believed there is life after football and together with his brother Glen, the Sydney United midfielder, has been running a coaching academy called Futboltec for the last five years.

“We started coaching kids privately with only a bag of balls but once the word got round ,the numbers started growing and we now look after over  one hundred players”.

“Apart from the private coaching, we do holiday camps and weekend sessions, mainly in the offseason when the players aren’t with their clubs”.

Their coaching is so popular that several former Socceroos entrust the coaching of their sons to Futboltec.
They include Danny Milicic (son of Wanderers assistant coach, Ante Milicic), Jordan Carle (son of Sydney FC midfielder, Nick Carle), the two sons of Alex Tobin (Football NSW Technical Director) and the son of Chi Chi Mendez.

“Ideally, after my playing career, I’d like to continue coaching because it’s very satisfying helping young players grow and develop to a higher level”, says Trifiro.

“However, this year I ‘m only focussed on consolidating my spot at Wanderers and securing another contract beyond this season”.

“This is where I live and want to play and at the moment I just can’t imagine a life without football”.

If determination and ability count for anything, Jason Trifiro will be entertaining Western Sydney Wanderer’s supporters for some time to come and the football community can only benefit from his contribution.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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