Gersbach flattered by Juventus interest

Alex Gersbach in action for Sydney FC against Tottenham. Source: Getty Images

Australia defender Alex Gersbach is “flattered” by reported interest from Italian heavyweights Juventus but insists his sole focus is to continue excelling for Norwegian double winners Rosenborg.

The Socceroos left-back, still only 19, has been tracked by Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta and sporting director Fabio Paratici, according to the Italian website calciomercato.com.

But the reports, are “news" to Gersbach, and while welcome, the former Sydney FC flier said: “Of course I’ll take it as a compliment but I'll just keep working hard and you never know what can happen in football.

“It’s nice to have people writing articles like that about you and I am in a good spot.

"I just need to keep my head down now and keep working hard. My mind is set on Rosenborg and playing here next year and winning more trophies.

“I am aiming to have a good pre-season and to keep improving and processing … beyond that it’s all out of my control.”

Gersbach, who has three seasons remaining on the contract he signed in January, has exceeded expectations in his debut season in Europe and is now relishing a break after playing a pivotal role as Rosenborg made history by winning the double for two consecutive seasons.

"I am on holidays at the moment, and I will be relaxing and enjoying the off-season, and time with family and friends over Christmas (back in Australia) and I won’t be thinking about football too much at all," he added.

Gersbach is fully aware of the pitfalls of potentially joining a monster club and being left on the bench, the second team or being loaned out – as was the case for fellow Socceroo James Troisi during his three-season spell for the Old Lady, for whom he never played a game.

“You do think about those things  ... I just want to establish myself here (with Rosenborg)," he said.

"Beyond that, you never know what can happen."

He does dream of playing in one of Europe’s elite leagues at some stage, with England at the top of his list.

“I guess every Aussie player wants to play in the Premier League," he said. "I would love to play in that competition but also other big leagues around the world, whether that is Spain, Germany or Italy.”

Right now though, Gersbach is allowing himself to ride a wave of celebration, looking back on a year which also saw him win his first Socceroos cap and became a regular member of Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos squad.

“It’s been fantastic since I came here … to win the double in my first season," he said.

“I was telling my teammates last weekend “(after beating second tier Kongsvinger 4-0 in the cup final) that we’ve been celebrating so much lately I am a bit over it!

“We won the league mathematically a while back, and then we had the trophy presentation, which was another celebration, then the cup final and that was another celebration.

“It’s nice to be involved with a winning teams  ...these are the first two trophies I have won in my career and it just makes you hungry for more.”

While racking up many match minutes, Gersbach has been locked in a tussle with Jergen Skjelvik for the left-back role, and it’s a duel he aims to win.

“I just want to cement that spot: I want to play every game and every minute. I will work hard in pre-season and make sure that happens next year," he said.

Gersbach can now look forward to the UEFA Champions League qualifiers next year, after the club missed out on this season's competition.

“In our heads and in our hearts we really want to quality," he said. "It was a downer not making the main draw this season and we will try and make sure we go one better next time.”

Source SBS