Get To Know: Alvin Ceccoli

Each Friday we’re asking the important questions as we profile Sydney FC’s Team of the Decade and former players. Find out who their funniest team mate was, what their favourite away trip was, who they believe was the worst dancer at the club and more!

How did it feel to be named in Sydney FC’s Team of the Decade?

When you’re playing and focussed and you do your daily chores of training and playing, you don’t think down the track.  You just go about your normal business and I’m not one to blow my own trumpet or praise I find hard to appreciate and sort of get a bit embarrassed by it. You don’t appreciate things until you stop playing and it was really nice and a special memento to cap off your career and where you’ve been at so it was a nice little fitting touch to be recognised for all your hard work all those years.

What are you up to now?

These days I work for an oil company called Penrite Oil, basically engine oil for your car and things like that. I’m still playing at the old tender age of 40 plus playing in the Wollongong League down there. Spending time with the family and enjoying life.

Funniest Sydney FC memory?

I’m bad with my memory and there’s only a few type of people that can remember every single detail and I’m not one of them. The funny memories for me and the Wollongong boys, there were five of us; myself, Sasho Petrovski, Jacob Timpano, Ruben Zadkovich and Justin Pasfield. We used to travel up each day in a car and eventually after begging the club they gave us a van to travel up in and we ended up calling it the Venga Bus. At that time I had a newspaper shop and I used to provide the newspapers each day to keep us entertained and each day we used to do the daily quiz going up. It was one of those moments where you had to be there but Sash Petrovski was our daily release. Just his responses to the questions and things like that were epic. There’d be times where we would just be totally in stitches coming out of the car and walking into the dressing room and you’d have five guys absolutely cacking themselves. Other little things we used to do, when State of Origin was on, I used to get access through the news agency all this State of Origin memorabilia like those flags you put on the top of your car, and I had this van just covered in all these flags and we used to drive to Sydney like that just tooting at everyone, and we’d attract a lot of attention in cars and that but little did they know that we were Sydney FC players. 

Funniest team mate?

You’d have to say Sash. It was just the lack of thought that he’d put into his quiz answers that would make everyone laugh.

Best mate(s) at the club and do you still keep in touch?

I was speaking to Jacob Timpano on the phone just this morning, I see Sash occasionally, Justin Pasfield has just moved back down to Wollongong, Ruben Zadkovich is still in Perth so I don’t get to speak to him but I occasionally bump into David Zdrilic though the Beach Soccer we play.

Best away game story?

For me the best away game story, Clint mentioned Tahiti, obviously he mentioned the toiletries bag scenario. To ad lib on that, the whole toiletry bag theory was if you got your toiletries intact, clean and you look after yourself and are prepared to go away, there were guys turning up with just a toothbrush in a plastic bag no toothpaste no soap, things like that it was really funny. Then there were guys who had moisturisers and facial cleansers. Pierre would say if you were prepared with that type of thing and you were prepared for football, then you’d be right.

It triggered another memory from the Tahiti trip.  Pierre was competitive and he’d have these little games after training for those who wanted to compete. There was this one particular moment where he had his tripod with his video camera set up filming the session, they continued filming this little competition he had and he ended up losing the competition. You could see him getting more and more infuriated about losing and by the end of it he absolutely kicked this ball at his tripod and camera and totally smashed his tripod and camera – everyone was in stitches.

Worst dancer/singer?

It was the likes of Matthew Bingley who’d stand around like a statue and if you’re in a nightclub and standing around like a statue I’d put that down as your worst dancers.

Favourite backroom staff member?

I’d have to concur with what Clint had to say. It was a unique situation where it was the whole backroom staff and coaching staff – they’d just egg each other on. Then obviously the players would get involved in it and there would be major blow-ups happening between all of them. Just everyone playing practical jokes on each other and Joe Niutta, he was sort of the link between the coaching staff and the players so during game day I’d used to go into his room while he was setting up and we’d have a laugh and try and stir people up. It’s all just about having a bit of a release.  

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