A-League: Reno Piscopo return to boost Wellington Phoenix playoff push

Piscopo. Photo credit: Photosport

After missing Reno Piscopo's services for a month, Wellington Phoenix are desperate for the in-form Olyroo to inject some life into an A-League campaign about to enter choppy waters.

On Monday, Piscopo joined his Phoenix teammates for the flight to Perth, where they will undergo an extended preparation for Friday's showdown with the Glory.

The third-placed hosts haven't lost in their last eight games and represent a significant step-up for Piscopo's team, whose previous four games before last week's bye were against teams in the bottom half of the ladder.

The left winger wasn't involved in those games, coinciding with some patchy Phoenix performances, even if three of them did end in wins.

He's back for a run that also includes clashes with Sydney FC and Melbourne City.

Piscopo wants to maintain his sharp form from the Asian U23 championship, where he was a key figure in Australia's third place finish in Thailand.

While they qualified for the Tokyo Games, he isn't taking re-selection for the Olyroos for granted and is well aware Graham Arnold will keep a watching brief.

"I hope I get the call to go the Olympics," he told reporters. "It was amazing just to qualify, but it would be even better to go there and have that experience. 

"You've got to maintain your form, keep doing good week-in, week-out, but at the end of the day, it's up to Arnie. He selects the team, and I'll just do my best for Wellington and continue my form."

The former Inter Milan youth player scored a spectacular long-range free-kick in the opening win over Iraq, but is unsure if he'll be handed any dead-ball duties in the A-League.

The 21-year-old was central to two exceptional Phoenix displays just before he departed in December.

He conjured a goal and an assist in the 2-2 draw with Sydney FC, and was a standout figure in the 3-1 defeat of Western United.

He started five of the six games in Thailand, coming off the bench in Australia's only loss, the semi-final against South Korea.


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