Sport

Sainsbury's 'burning passion' to stay at elite level

Trent Sainsbury is hoping to get a Socceroos call-up for Thursday's World Cup qualifier in Tehran against Iraq.
Trent Sainsbury is hoping to get a Socceroos call-up for Thursday's World Cup qualifier in Tehran against Iraq. TONY MCDONOUGH

SOCCEROOS defender Trent Sainsbury has revealed the physical and mental barriers he had to overcome in making his dramatic switch to Italian giants Inter Milan in January, a move that he says has now ignited a "burning passion" to keep playing at the elite of world football.

Still to feature for Inter despite a succession of appearances on the bench, Sainsbury also has to convince Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou that his lack of first team football since November won't count against him for Thursday's World Cup qualifier with Iraq in Tehran.

The 25-year-old arrived at Inter having had just two weeks of physical training since the end of the Chinese Super League last November, knowing he had only until the end of this season to convince his teammates that his loan move had more credibility than a marriage of convenience from the Italian club having the same owners as his Chinese club Jiangsu Suning.

But he admitted that thanks to rule changes around foreigners' eligibility in China, the move to Inter also offered an unexpected opportunity.

"I didn't really have an option - if I'd stayed in China I wouldn't have played because of the new rule," he said.

"So I could stay there, not play and just train, or go to Inter and train and have a chance of playing. Who's going to turn down Inter Milan?

"Game time is important, we all know that, so I just have to keep training hard and try to force the coach's hand.

"It was a bit difficult going there off the back of basically no football since the end of November.

"I wasn't in the best shape and completely nervous as you'd expect. The first week or two it was more about adjusting and getting the body in shape for training.

"The CSL isn't at the same level as Serie A but I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone.

"If anything it's about proving to myself that I can be at that level. The biggest hurdle I have to climb is myself.

"Physically I'm okay, but tactically it's harder, the Italians love defence.

"I'm starting to pick up the language on the pitch which makes things a lot easier, but tactically I have to get used to what the team is like.

"It's not easy coming in midway through a season when I'm halfway through pre-season."

In a change of view that is likely to be welcomed by Postecoglou, Sainsbury said the return to Europe after a previous stint with PEC Zwolle in Holland had convinced him to abandon his lucrative venture in China.

"Hopefully this puts me in the shop window again," he said.

"In China you don't get the coverage you would in Europe so it definitely won't hurt my CV.

"Hopefully someone will see what I can offer their club and a move to Europe will be on the cards.

"My wife would be a hell of a lot happier, and I'm just enjoying myself at the moment.

"I'd tasted Europe before, and it's where I get the burning passion to better myself, the same as I get every time I come back into (Socceroos) camp.

"Everyone wants to push themselves and get to the next level, at Inter you see their drive. Europe is definitely on my agenda."

News Corp Australia

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Chinchilla Suns lick their wounds following defeat

DEFEATED: The Chinchilla Suns are recovering from defeat after losing to Highfields at the weekend.

Suns suffer defeat at the hands of Highfields

$2.6 million set aside, draft plan of Botanic Gardens released

BIG PLANS: WDRC's master plan of the Chinchilla Botanical Gardens.

Council is pushing ahead with the Chinchilla Botanic Gardens

Gymnastics club raises the bar

FLYING HIGH: Chinchilla gymnastics club showed off their moves to judges in Dalby at the weekend

Chinchilla gymnasts flying high after competition

Local Partners

Father lives every parent's nightmare

After living every parent's worst nightmare, Tony Clark said it was time young people seriously thought about what they are doing behind the wheel

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

Digging down to find Clare

After five years on the TV series Nashville it’s time for Clare Bowen to tell stories about herself and her loved ones.

TV REVIEW: Offspring season 7 is... fine

Alexander England and Asher Keddie in a scene from season seven of Offspring.

New Offspring won’t be remembered as the best season.

What's on at the cinemas over the school holidays

Tom Holland in a scene from the movie Spider-man: Homecoming.

Escape from reality over the holidays with a trip to the movies.

Rapper accidentally drops Banksy's real name in interview

Banksy’s ‘The girl with a balloon.’

Rapper Goldie may have just outed Banksy's real identity

Mariah Carey slammed for on-set antics

Mariah Carey’s cameo in the movie The House was reportedly scrapped.

Actor spills the beans on Mariah’s “borderline abusive” behaviour.

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson dead after long illness

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died.

Celebrity chef died after battle with an alcohol-related illness

Ellen shames audience member

Ellen shamed an audience member who stole from her gift shop.

TALK show host catches audience member stealing from her gift shop.

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Grass is greener for Warwick real estate

Warwick's rural charm and affordable property prices are enticing buyers from Brisbane.

Quality houses for half the price of Brisbane attracting interest

Builders relish Coast's growing construction rates

The Coast's average house price has risen from by more than $10,000 in the past three years to $507,100.

House numbers and values are rising on the Coast

Open for inspection: Coast homes go on show

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!