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ADP Down Under

The football world (both hear and overseas) is abuzz with the news that Alessandro del Piero has signed for Sydney FC. There have been lots of superlatives thrown around as a result, but it's hard not to agree that this is one of the biggest football stories ever.

Del Piero will be the finest player ever to play in the Australian league. He has a huge fan base and there's no question he will generate memberships and boost crowds wherever he goes. I'm very much looking forward to the first home match.

Of course, star players have come here and failed to make an impact or treated it as a party. I doubt del Piero will fall into those traps. He won't be match fit yet, but I believe he'll get there. The new thing for players of his calibre seems to be legacy. Beckham in the USA is the model and these players seem to believe they can inspire a generation of young players. With that motivation, in addition to keeping his business interests going (build on top of good football), it's hard to imagine this not being a great thing for Australian football.

The other good news out of this has been the performance of Sydney FC. First they had the guts to go for such a high profile player, when they could easily have finished with egg on their faces. And the management of the whole process, especially from a PR point of view has been excellent. With the NRL and AFL finals looming, Sydney FC and football have been the lead story on both the back and front pages for two weeks running. Let's hope they can build on that.