JETS INSIDER - Zenon Caravella

In this week’s Jets Insider, midfielder Zenon Caravella is answering questions submitted by the club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s Jets Insider, Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder Zenon Caravella is answering questions submitted by the club-s Members and supporters.

Caravella speaks about his transition into the Jets- line-up, his combination with Ruben Zadkovich and his love of Hunter Valley wines.

Daisy Walters asks via email: Have you been surprised by the impact you-ve made since arriving at the Jets? You seem to have fitted in at the club very quickly.

Zenon Caravella (ZC): I didn-t expect to settle as quickly as I did. I guess I put that down to my teammates who have really welcomed me and made me feel part of the team. When you-re settled, you can play your best football and I feel like I-ve been given that opportunity here.

@Robey_Boucher asks via Twitter: If you consistently perform the way you've been playing since joining the Jets, do you harbour ambitions to gatecrash the Australian World Cup squad?

ZC: It-s always been a dream of mine to play for Australia. I haven-t represented my country yet but I-ve been involved in a Socceroos camp before. I have to be realistic with myself though and I think I need to be playing at a very high level for a whole season to even be considered.

It-s still a while away, but you never really know what can happen.

Luke Bush asks via email: Hi Zenon, are you enjoying playing for the Jets and how have you found the city of Newcastle so far?

ZC: I-m loving my time here and I love playing for this team and it-s a great bunch of guys to play football with.

Tom Farmer asks via email: You seem to have instantly struck up a good combination with Ruben Zadkovich in central midfield. What do you think the reason for that is?

I love playing with Ruben. He-s a great leader in midfield. He wins the ball, but he can also play. They-re two of the best attributes to have as a midfielder, to be a ball player and a ball winner. I love playing in there with him and hopefully it just gets better.

Brendan Filipovski asks via email: Hi Zenon, I-m a massive fan and reckon you should be a Socceroo. I thought you were a star import when I first saw you play for Gold Coast. Being a wine connoisseur what is your favourite Hunter Valley wine and vineyard?

ZC: I-m a big fan of Tempus Two and I love Hunter Valley Chiraz as a varietal.

@Tommyjet262 asks via Twitter: How many times you visited the vineyards since you arrived?

ZC: I haven-t been just yet, but I-m definitely planning to during the off-season.

Mitch McDonough asks via email: What are your views on the 6 team finals series? Do you think having more than half the league in the finals is a good or bad idea? A lot of teams set their goals for the season as making the finals (finishing in the top 6) - if the 10 team league had a 4 team finals series, would you consider finishing 5th or 6th a successful season?

ZC: I don-t think it-s a bad thing. The A-League is still a small competition with how many teams play in it, and I suppose the more teams that are in contention for the finals series, the more interesting it can be, like the situation we have now.

You-ve got a handful of teams fighting for those last two spots, which I think is a good thing that is also great for the fans.

Sandra Pruchala asks via email: Who are the best footballers you have played with and against?

ZC: The best footballer I-ve played with is probably Troy Halpin back in the old NSL. He-s also a Newcastle boy. As for the best player I-ve played against, there-s quite a few, but Tom Pondeljak is definitely up there. He-s retired now, but he achieved a lot during his career.

Christine O-Meara asks via email: What is your career highlight to date?

ZC: Winning the NSL with Sydney Olympic in 2003 was pretty special.

Shaun Ilner asks via email: As a player with great close ball control, how important do you think it is for youngsters to develop this part of their game from an early age? Is it something you worked a lot on as a kid?

ZC: It-s something I worked a lot on. I remember dribbling in and around trees when I was six or seven years old. We didn-t have any markers, so I would go down to the park and dribble around the trees.

I think it-s very important for young kids to learn close ball control because I guess it-s a skill that-s harder to learn when you-re older and it-s important to get those fundamentals right when you-re young.

Bruce Smith asks via email: How do you think spending some time playing in Holland helped develop you as a player? What aspects of your game improved most as a result of the time you spent there?

ZC: Holland improved me a lot as a player, mainly just with general positional play and being more aware of where you are on the field. They concentrate a lot on positional play over there, where to stand, where to make a run, when to make a run and that all helped me a lot.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview, head coach Gary van Egmond will answer YOUR questions. Simply tweet your question using the #JetsInsider hashtag or send your question to communications@huntersportsgroup.com by COB Wednesday. Then check back in Jets Insider next week to see if your question is answered.