From Dubbo to Italy via Sutherland - Tratt's trail

The Sydney FC squad has enjoyed a unique experience during the pre season camp in Italy but one player, Jacob Tratt, could be excused for thinking it is all a dream after he was plucked from the Sutherland Sharks U20s side to join the Sky Blues on the tour.

The Sydney FC squad has enjoyed a unique experience during the pre season camp in Italy but one player, Jacob Tratt, could be excused for thinking it is all a dream after he was plucked from the Sutherland Sharks U20s side to join the Sky Blues on the tour.

The 19-year-old, who hails from Dubbo in the Central West of NSW, was drafted into the touring party at the last minute when Blake Powell was ruled out through injury and the tall defender has grasped the opportunity with both hands.

Trading Seymour Shaw and final rounds of the NSW Premier League U20s for a six-match three-week tour of Italy with arguably the biggest name to ever play football in Italy, Alessandro Del Piero, has been a remarkable experience.

From being introduced to a crowd of 5,000 fans at the Sydney FC Team Welcome Reception in Jesolo to training in front of far bigger crowds than usually watch him play, the tour has been an invaluable experience for the softly-spoken teenager. He even made his Sydney FC debut, getting game time in all three of Sydney FC-s victories over Udinese Prima Vera, Venezia and A.S. Cittadella.

But less than 12 months after he moved from Dubbo to play for the Sutherland Sharks U20s, Tratt can take the experiences gained in Italy back to Australia when he lines up in the Sydney FC youth team for the 2013/14 season.

“It-s been unbelievable training with Alessandro Del Piero and the Sydney FC first grade team. It-s been an amazing experience. A lottery ticket as Frank (Farina) would say,” Tratt said. “Now I-m looking forward to getting back and training hard with the youth team and hopefully having a good season with the youth team

And what has been the highlight: “Just Playing. Playing with Del Piero and playing with the boys. I-m very thankful for everything that-s happened over the three weeks. (Three weeks ago) I was working and playing with Sutherland. This is a trip of a lifetime and I-m glad to be in these shoes at the moment.”

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