Italiano determined to make Bundesliga debut and excited to be back in Olyroos camp

Subway Olyroos attacker Jacob Italiano is enjoying life in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach as he looks ahead to the upcoming Tournoi Maurice Revello and beyond.

The 21-year-old was recently named in Tony Vidmar’s 23-player squad for the tournament in France which Australia kick off against Qatar on Tuesday, 6 June.

READ MORE: Cam Peupion's 'crazy couple of weeks' culminating in Premier League debut

The squad is currently in the Italian lakeside town of Varese at the AIS European Training Centre for a camp before arriving in the south of France.

“I'm very excited,” claimed Italiano.  “I feel it's a big opportunity for all of us as individuals, and obviously as a group, as a team to push Australian football to the next level, because I feel like our development is definitely going up.

“And there's a lot of young players that have the potential coming through now to break through in Europe and really, you know, make an impact in Europe as well as.

“So this is a big opportunity for all of us individually and as a team.”

After the strong Subway Olyroos side, which contains the likes of Garang Kuol and Marco Tilio, face Qatar, they tackle Togo and Mexico to round out Group B and hope to advance to the semi-finals.

The attacking midfielder-come-forward is no stranger to national team camps, having represented Australia at every youth level and part of the squads which helped the Olyroos secure qualification to the Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup.

Italiano said he relishes the opportunity to reunite with familiar faces during national team camps and believes the morale within the squad was in a good place.

“Whenever these camps come around, when you see it coming, you see it on the calendar, these windows and stuff and you always look forward to it,” he said.

“You’re always training a bit harder to make sure you're picked for these.

“When you're here you love it, you see boys that you maybe haven't seen for a long time and catch up and you see everyone doing so well.

“… It's really exciting, everyone's really got a buzz about them, and everyone's confident you can see it in training that everyone really backs themselves. So, the standard is really high.

“Everyone's in a really good mood and yeah, I love these camps.”

Jacob Italiano

Indeed, the prospect is looking to impress as he targets his primary goal of making his Bundesliga debut with the Foals.

Italiano burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old for Perth Glory in 2017, becoming the second-youngest Glory player to debut at the time.

He was quickly signed by the German heavyweights in December of that year but could not transfer to the club until he turned 18 due to FIFA regulations.

Since moving abroad in 2019, Italiano is yet to feature for the first team in a competitive match, amassing close to 80 appearances for the reserves – Borussia Monchengladbach II.

He started last pre-season with the senior outfit but a combination of injury and illness hindered his efforts to really mount a genuine case for new manager Daniel Farke.

“I had like, five, six days of intense training, I was doing pretty well and then got an injury on my hamstring,” he recalled.

“And that kind of took a toll, was a couple of weeks. And then I got hit with glandular fever, right at the end of that injury. So that was like another two, three months.”

It was far from ideal and a test of character, but his perseverance kept him going and finished the season with the second team strongly.

“I haven't looked back and I didn't plan playing games and feeling good again,” he added.

“So it's definitely finished stronger than it started.”

Jacob Italiano

Italiano revealed he has had conversations with Gladbach about his future, admitting things remain somewhat up in the air about his exact role heading into the 2023/24 campaign.

He remains motivated, intimating he has unfinished business with the team that has shown faith in him, by securing his services to begin with.

“They've informed me that they're still squad planning in terms of the second team with the first team, I think at the moment, I'm kind of in that middle ground where I'm hoping for opportunities,” he admitted.

"Like if there were to come opportunities, and there is a chance that I could take it and do well and the club believe in me that I'm still a player that they can push on and see the potential in.

“So obviously, it could definitely be worse and obviously, I'm still very motivated and excited that that opportunity does come because it's been a little while now.

“I have had some injuries and stuff that have come at bad times and stuff like that.

“But there's still definitely hope within the club, and hopefully you see a lot of hope within me that I can push on and take that step.”

Should he get to that next step, he will follow the path of several recent Australians to have played in the German top-flight, including Mathew Leckie, who commenced his European adventure at Monchengladbach in 2011.

Other Subway Socceroos to have played for the North Rhine-Westphalia club include Damian Mori and Craig Moore.

Italiano said the perception in Germany about Australian footballers is positive.

“There’s been some Aussies obviously even at my club,” he stated.

“Even the boys in my team, the second team and that they always talk about the Aussies and how they always like work hard and then you know exactly what you're going to get from them.

“So there is definitely a respect with Australians in Germany. Obviously in St. Pauli right now there's Connor Metcalfe and Jackson Irvine. So there definitely is a mutual respect there, I think.”

Subway Olyroos’ Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 – Group B Schedule

Qatar v Australia
Date: Tuesday, 6 June 2023
Venue: Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny, Aubagne
Kick-off: 2:00pm local, 10:00pm (AEST)

Australia v Togo
Date: Friday, 9 June 2023
Venue: Stade d'Honneur, Mallemort
Kick-off: 2:00pm local, 10:00pm (AEST)

Mexico v Australia
Date: Monday, 12 June 2023
Venue: Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny, Aubagne
Kick-off: 2:00pm local, 10:00pm (AEST)

Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 – Ranking Matches – Schedule

2.00pm (local), Thursday, 14 June: 11th vs 12th and 7th vs 8th at Arles & Miramas

6.00pm (local), Thursday, 14 June: 9th vs 10th and 5th vs 6th at Arles & Miramas

Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 – Semi-Finals – Schedule

2.30pm (local) Friday, 15 June: Semi-Final #1 at Salon

6.00pm (local) Friday, 15 June: Semi-Final #2 at Salon

Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 – Finals – Schedule

2.30pm (local) Sunday, 18 June: 3rd vs 4th at Salon

6.00pm (local) Sunday, 18 June: Final at Salon

A championship system will be in operation for this tournament, where each team is playing for three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a defeat. In the event of a tie at the end of a match, a penalty shoot-out will be held. The team that wins the penalty shoot-out will receive an additional point in the ranking.