Exam time now over for Glory teen prodigy

Nov 30, 2017 - 2:26 AM Most players celebrate their A-League debut with a beer after the game, but for 16-year-old rising star Jacob Italiano, hard study was the only thing on the menu.

Glory's horror injury run has forced coach Kenny Lowe to dig deep into his reserves.

And he looks to have found a gem in the form of Italiano, who at 16 years and 112 days became the fifth youngest A-League debutant when he started in a 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory a fortnight ago.

Italiano was in the midst of his year 11 school exams when told of his call-up.

And after the Victory game, he was quick to get back into study mode.

"There were a few exams going on," Italiano said.

"I had to go and study after the game. I had my Exercise Science exam the next day.

"It was a bit weird. It was a bit hard to study that night with the excitement and everything, and catching up with social media.

"But I think I did alright. School's finished now."

With another school year done and dusted, Italiano is looking forward to cementing his spot in Glory's starting team, even when the club's stars return.

Adam Taggart (hamstring) is still about a month away from returning, but the likes of Diego Castro (calf), Andy Keogh (groin), Andreu (calf), and Scott Neville (groin) aren't far away.

Italiano was impressive in last week's 3-1 win over Melbourne City at AAMI Park, setting up Mitch Nichols' long-range opener and also winning a penalty.

He is set for another starting role in Sunday's clash with the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium.

Italiano is likely to come up against former teen prodigy Daniel De Silva, who was just 15 years old when he made his Glory debut.

"The coach has put his faith in me, and was confident I could do a job," Italiano said.

"He tells me to go out there and run at players and be positive. It's really helped my game.

"Even when the players come back fit, I want to be pushing for positions in the starting eleven and off the bench - make Kenny make a decision really."

Source: AAP

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