Newcastle Jets midfielder Zenon Caravella says he is delighted to have made his return to Hyundai A-League action after making his first appearnce for the Club this season off the bench against Melbourne City last weekend.
After being granted a release from the Club earlier this year to pursue opportunities outside of football in North Queensland, Caravella returned to the Jets on the eve of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season.
After taking a couple of weeks to reacclimatise to his surroundings, Caravella made his first appearance since returning to Newcastle in the Jets’ 1-1 draw with Melbourne City last weekend, coming on as a second-half substitute.
“It feels great to be back,” Caravella said of his return to the professional game.
“Surprisingly I wasn’t really too anxious or nervous, I just felt like I wanted to get out there and get stuck in.
“I think it’s important to try and get yourself in the game straight away.
“It’s always a little bit more difficult coming off the bench and picking up the tempo, but I was able to get some good early touches which helped me settle into the game.”
Caravella said that while he feels his body is not quite up to playing the full 90 minutes just yet, he would welcome the opportunity to start Sunday’s match against Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.
“I’m not sure if I can last a full game yet, but if I start I think I’ll be able to give it a good shot,” Caravella said.
“If not, I’ll just come off the bench again and slowly build up my fitness like that.”
Caravella said he expected the Phoenix to provide the Jets with some stiff opposition on Sunday.
“Every year I’ve been around and played against Wellington, it’s always been a physical game,” Caravella said.
“We’ve seen some highlights of them this week and they look like they’re pushing the ball around quite well, so I think it’s going to be a tough game.
“A year in the A-League is not a huge amount of time to mould the players to play the way you want, so I think with it being Ernie Merrick’s second year now you can start to see they’ve got a bit of a playing style developing.
“I thought they played well against the Mariners, the way they were passing the ball around their midfield.
“It’s about us getting pressure on the ball and not giving them time to play or string passes together.”