WHEN Bathurst '75-Western graduates and now Sydney FC squad members Nathan Sherlock, from Orange, and Rhyan Grant began the month with a trial game against the Newcastle Jets there was little fanfare, but now the focus is very much on their club.
It is due to the arrival of 37-year-old Alessandro Del Piero - Sydney FC's new marquee man.
Whereas the game against the Jets, which Sydney FC drew 1-all as Sherlock got just over an hour of match time and Grant a full game, only drew 2000 people, on Sunday a lot more showed up for jersey presentation day.
While jersey presentation day is an event seldom made public in Australian football, this time Sydney FC made an exception.
Fans watched as the former Juventus star, Sherlock and Grant and the rest of the Sydney FC squad were put through their paces.
For Sherlock, who played five games for ths Sky Blues last season, the session continued his bid to find fitness after off-season groin injury.
It has been more of a normal pre-season thus far for Grant, though he has taken time away from the training paddock to help recruit more fans to take a Syndye FC membership.
"It was a really fulfilling experience; luckily enough I was able to get a few members to re-sign," Grant said of his time as a telemarketer.
"I really enjoyed having a chat with the fans, they are the soul of the club, and it's good to give a bit back to them."
But after Australian junior representative Grant was presented with jumper 23 and Sherlock 22, it was the man who was given number 10 - Del Piero - that fans flocked to.
While he described his first seven days as "a long week", Del Piero said the team should try to harness the positivity swirling around the club.
''I hope to be perfect for the start of the season, but this part is perfect for us,'' he said. ''[We'll get] a lot of energy from a day like that. It's a familiar situation for me because Juventus have a lot of fans in all parts of Italy and Europe and also here.
''I definitely remember what it means to me to be at Juventus for 19 years, but now my life is for Sydney. It's a very nice organisation and everybody around me is ready to help me, and I'm happy.''
Del Piero has already been offering advice to young memebers of the squad such as Grant and Sherlock and all three will be hoping to make their presence felt in tomorrow's closed-doors match against Central Coast if given the chance. Their season-opening match is against Wellington Phoenix 10 days later.