Behind The Play: Fornaroli says goals are great but titles are better

Continuing a five-part series on A-League stars preparing for the 2016-2017 season, The World Game talks to the competition's leading goal-scorer from last season and the new Melbourne City captain, Bruno Fornaroli, who tells what he wants most out of this season.

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Fornaroli during the A-League launch Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

Bruno Fornaroli said he doesn't need to score another truck-load of goals this season to satisfy his ego.

He told The World Game that while scoring goals was great, if he came up with less than half of last year's total of 25 and his Melbourne City side won the championship he would be happy.

Fornaroli also said that forming a combination with Australia legend Tim Cahill had been easy and that City have made up for the departure of Aaron Mooy by recruiting quality players in multiple attacking positions.

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And the Uruguayan, who turned 29 last month, said his best football was still in front of him.

If City are to win the title, Fornaroli is going to have to make a big contribution, either by scoring a lot of goals or working hard to help make the path to goal easier for others - or both.



But he isn't concerned how the balance ends up, as long as he knows he has done his part.

"If I score five, 10 goals and we win the league, it's perfect, because we would go into history as the first team to win the league for this club," Fornaroli told The World Game.

"I want to win the league - that's my dream.

"I don't feel pressure to score as many goals as last season, but the pressure is always there to do well as a player and I like that pressure. I think if you feel the pressure you feel something alive inside you - and that's real football."

Mooy was the dominant playmaker for City last season and came up with plenty of goal assists for Fornaroli and other players, and there is a school of thought out there that the goals won't be as easy to come by for the team with the midfielder gone.

But the club recruited hard in playmaking and goal-scoring positions, with Cahill, Luke Brattan, Fernando Brandan, Nicolas Colazo, Neil Kilkenny and Bruce Kamau among those added to the squad.

"All the time in football you need to be able to adapt to new players coming in," Fornaroli said. "It's normal to miss Aaron, he's a big player, but Tim is a fantastic player and he has come in, and Luke, Fernando and more.

"I think this year we'll play more as a team. We've got so many players out there who can do things and if that means I don't score as often then that's OK."



It was clear from City's 4-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in their recent FFA Cup quarter-final that Fornaroli and Cahill are very quickly developing a great understanding.

Fornaroli said Cahill was a pleasure to work with.

"It's easier when you play with these top players," he said. "You understand each other more quickly because they just know. Sometimes he organises everything and all the time he's pushing everyone on the pitch. He runs a lot and this is great for us.

"I think, together, we can make and score goals. The more you play with him, the better you feel, and in the FFA Cup game our combination went well, so we were happy. I know the fans are looking for something from us and we'll try to give them this."

City insiders say Fornaroli has an enormously positive influence on the playing group off the field as well as on and has the knack of bringing players of all ages and different nationalities together.

This explains, to a large degree, why he has been made captain following the retirement of Patrick Kisnorbo.



Fornaroli felt privileged to be given the honour.

"It's a great honour and a big responsibility for me," he said. "And I'm very happy to have that responsibility.

"I think when you work hard inside the pitch and at training, and push everyone, that is a good leader, and maybe the club and the coaching staff thought this was a good example. I'll continue to work hard - I can't change."

Fornaroli is now very settled in Melbourne with a new, three-year contract as a marquee player at a club he said provided everything he needed to keep getting better.

"From the first day I came here the club support for me was amazing," he said. "Not only for me, but for my family as well, and when your family is happy it makes you more relaxed and able to concentrate on your work.

"When you play with fantastic players like Aaron and Harry (Novillo), like we did last season, your level goes up. This is normal, and now we've great new players to help keep that happening.

"I think I'm at a good age now where I can use my experience and combine with the players around me here to make my level go up again. I have this in my mind, so I'm going to work hard for it."


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5 min read
Published 4 October 2016 at 5:45pm
By Greg Prichard