Central Coast defender Jacob Poscoliero is enjoying his first season in the A-League and wants to help push the Mariners back into finals contention.
Poscoliero made his debut in round two against Wellington Phoenix and has featured in nearly every Mariners game this season, missing only five of the 16 fixtures played.
The fullback or stopper is making the most of his A-League opportunity after spending close to five years playing in Italy and unsuccessfully trialling with Melbourne City back in 2012.
“I’ve loved every minute of it,” Poscoliero told FourFourTwo of his A-League journey.
“Obviously some results, in that aspect, it hasn’t been the most positive, but I’ve played most games so far and I’ve been reasonably happy with how I’ve played. I’d prefer it if the team was winning but it’s been great so far.”
Poscoliero has appeared at both right back and centre back for Central Coast but doesn’t have a preferred position after starring in midfield as a junior.
“As long as I’m playing I’m happy I guess,” he admitted. “To be fair I’m quite comfortable in both positions, and if I’m on the park I’m happy.”
Poscoliero played 90 minutes in the heart of defence against Adelaide United on Saturday when the Mariners earned a late 2-1 win.
“They’re probably, in my opinion, the form team in the competition at the moment,” he said.
“Probably them and Victory. To get the win against them was pretty good. That (the 5-1 loss to Sydney FC the weekend before) was a big blow. A lot of the boys took that really hard.
“It was good to bounce back and hopefully we can get a few wins on the trot now. Obviously we’ve got Brisbane coming up Friday. If we can get a few on the trot we’ll be back in the mix for the top six hopefully.”
The Mariners host Brisbane Roar at Central Coast Stadium on Friday and a win would catapult the eighth-placed side back into playoff contention.
“They play a similar style to Adelaide, obviously very attacking, they’re good on the ball,” Poscoliero said.
“They like to play a possession-based game, with Broich coming into those pockets and they’ve got some very good players so it’s going to be another tough game.
“We’ve been working hard in the past few days, our focus is fully on them now and it will be tough but the boys are pretty confident we can get a roll on with some wins.”
Veteran skipper John Hutchinson has been pivotal in focusing the team’s ambition.
“Hutch sat us down halfway through the season when the Asian Cup break was on and we had a good chat about our ambitions for the season, where we wanted to be,” he said.
“Top six is a big priority for the team and for the club and everyone has full belief that we can make the top six at the moment.”
Poscoliero grew up in Wollongong, playing his junior football for Corrimal Rangers and the Wolves. He also spent time with the Parramatta Eagles and Blacktown City before heading to Italy as a 17-year-old.
There he spent four and a half years with Messina’s youth team, Serie D outfit Sandona and Serie C side Bassano.
“It was good,” Poscoliero said.
“It was tough, probably the first year and a bit. I went over there not knowing the language or anything so it was a bit tough. After that I settled in and I started sharing an apartment with boys from the team, which made it a lot easier.
“When I first went over I was actually living with relatives over there. The last three years were great, I wouldn’t change anything.
“It’s a lot slower over there, obviously in the lower divisions as well. It’s a lot slower than it is in the A-League also the physicality is greater in the A-League.
“They’re very big on their tactics there, I did learn a lot in that aspect, which I found very helpful coming back to Australia.”
Poscoliero returned home in 2013 when his Italian journey turned sour.
“Financially over there at the moment it’s not the best place to be in the lower divisions,” he said.
“A lot of clubs are folding. I was actually owed money and a few of my teammates had actually played full seasons over there and not been paid at all.
“It wasn’t a good place to be and at the same time all the new regulations came in with the younger Italian boys having to start games.
“I obviously didn’t fall into that category of being a natural citizen. At the end there were limited opportunities and I thought it was best to come home.”
The 24-year old is glad to be in the security the A-League offers and is keen to make a name for himself in the competition.
Last week he extended his deal with the Mariners until the end of the 2016-2017 season.
“I think going back to Europe for me is out of the question,” Poscoliero said.
“My long-term goal is to try and establish myself as much as I can in the A-League and try and play as many years as I can at the highest possible level.”