NPL WA: Wellington Phoenix keeper Lewis Italiano joins ECU Joondalup


Lewis Italiano in action for Wellington. Picture: Getty Images
Lewis Italiano in action for Wellington. Picture: Getty Images

Italiano (25) is a back-up keeper for Wellington in the A-League, having featured in just one game.

He was part of the Perth Glory squad in 2012.

The former Balcatta custodian said he jumped at the chance to return home to build some match practise in the off-season.

“It’s great to be back in WA. I’m born and bred here, so to come back home and get some competitive football is good,” he said.

“I’ve got another year left on my Phoenix contract and I spoke to the club and said ‘Look, I’d like to get some game time under my belt’, so the club arranged that with ECU.”

Italiano is in good hands at ECU working with former English Premier League keeper Andy Petterson, who is the Jacks’ goalkeeping coach.

He last played in WA in 2012 before joining the Oakleigh Chargers in Victoria.

Italiano was impressed with how the WA league had improved since his departure, particularly under the National Premier Leagues format.

“I left WA four years ago and it was just the State League then, but the NPL has been great for football around the country,” he said.

“You can see the speed and quality of the players has improved greatly.”

Italiano has signed for another season with Wellington and is being patient as he works towards a No. 1 keeper position.

He is second in line behind Glen Moss.

“I know I’ve got to wait my turn at Wellington, as we all have to in football, and Mossy has been in good form,” he said. “He has another year on his contract, and I’ve signed on for another year too, so we’ll see what happens here.

“I’ve come to ECU to get more game time and get my confidence back up, and work hard with Andy (Petterson) and improve my game, and I’m sure they (Wellington) will be keeping an eye on me while I’m here.”

The Jacks have struggled to make an impact in the first seven NPL WA rounds, winning two games and losing five to have them fourth from the bottom.