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Del Piero set for return

December 20, 2012 12:29:12 UK

Alessandro Del Piero is poised for a return to Sydney FC's starting line-up against Newcastle Jets, after recovering from a hamstring complaint.

The Italian has not started the last two games, though he was a substitute in the Sydney derby last weekend.

The 38-year-old has trained fully this week as he bids to help the Sky Blues climb away from bottom place on the A-League ladder.

He's a world-class footballer, and I think any football club in the world would have him.

Terry McFlynn

And teammates Terry McFlynn and Brett Emerton hope Del Piero will not only boost their prospects of making the finals, but stay with the club into a second season.

Central Coast Mariners have made a play for the superstar, hoping to persuade him not to exercise his option on a second year with the Sky Blues.

McFlynn is expected to return to the starting team after missing the 2-0 loss to the Wanderers.

The club captain says a return for Del Piero will boost the Sky Blues, as the Italian still has a huge appetite for success.

''He's won everything in the game. Every competition he's entered since he was a kid, he's won it,'' McFlynn said. ''This is no different. He wants to win it and he sees this as something unfinished for him.''

McFlynn said it was no surprise to see the Mariners make a play to lure Del Piero away from Sydney.

''He's a world-class footballer, and I think any football club in the world would have him, and we're just privileged and honoured to have him here,'' he said.

''He's a fantastic person and a great character, and for everyone at this football club, from the management to the players, we learn something from him every day.''

Brett Emerton also feels the club should re-sign the 2006 World Cup winner.

''Of course we want him to stay,'' he said. ''He's a fantastic player with great leadership qualities and he's a good guy as well.

"He's fitted into the dressing room like anyone else, and every single player at the club will tell you the same thing. I definitely hope he's here next year.''

The Sky Blues have doubts over Pascal Bosschaart, who suffered a calf strain in the derby defeat against the Western Sydney Wanderers. If he's ruled out, Sebastian Ryall would most likely shift to centre-back and Rhyan Grant to right-back.

Sydney FC are 3.20 to beat Newcastle Jets, who are 2.20 to take three points from the clash.

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