• Spectator ... Alessandro Del Piero watches Sydney FC from the sidelines (Getty Images)
Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata has set up a meeting with the coaching, fitness and conditioning staff in an attempt to get to the bottom of the team's mounting injury crisis.
By
2 Jan 2013 - 10:46 AM  UPDATED 2 Jan 2013 - 9:07 PM

The Sky Blues fielded 16-year-old defender Aaron Calver in the midweek match against Adelaide United as coach Frank Farina was again forced to pick a depleted side.

Sydney's massive injury toll has prompted suggestions among fans that the team is paying the price for a badly planned pre-season.

The general fitness of the side has also been called into question after seven of the 30 goals conceded by Sydney this season have come in the last 15 minutes.

Pignata said he was deeply concerned with the conditioning side of the
team as it finds itself at the bottom of the A-League ladder with only
four wins and a draw in 14 matches.

"I'm having a meeting with Frank and the football staff to find out a bit more about what's happening," Pignata said.

"We are very concerned about the injury toll that has hit us hard.

"Unfortunately Adam Griffiths got a bad tackle in Adelaide and you can't avoid that.

"We always knew that Jason Culina was coming back from a major injury.

"With Alessandro Del Piero it's just wear and tear and he did not play in the last game as a precaution more than anything.

"Fabio has done his hamstring and Nathan Sherlock was out for a long time.

"Others like Pascal Bosschaart were injured from last season and have not had time to recover properly and have had to play 90 minutes."

Pignata said he was unsure if the current predicament could be traced to the club's pre-season.

"People have said that our pre-season (which was former coach Ian Crook's responsibility) was not the best," he said.

"I don't know about that because we had injuries during pre-season that stopped us from having games.

"What I do know is that if you are not fully conditioned come game time you're behind the eight ball and you're playing catch-up."

Upon Farina's arrival, Anthony Crea became fitness head in place of Craig Duncan who returned to his original role as sports scientist while Stan Ivancic remains head physiotherapist.

Sydney's walking wounded: Fabio Alves, ankle; Pascal Bosschaart,
calf; Joel Chianese, thigh; Jason Culina, knee; Alessandro Del Piero,
calf; Adam Griffiths, knee; Kruno Lovrek, heel; Ivan Necevski, ankle;
Paul Reid, adductor; Nathan Sherlock, hamstring. Del Piero, who has a
personal trainer, Culina and Chianese are expected to be available for
the weekend match at Perth Glory.