Australian teenager Jahce Novello is out to mark his mark in Italian football with Serie B side U.S. Cremonese.
Novello, from Western Australia, made a move to Italy in August 2019 to chase his football dreams. After several trials, he was offered a deal with Cremonese in Italy’s north and is now working his way up the club’s youth ranks.
“I’ve been here for about a year and a half,” the striker told The World Game.
“I came over for trials with another club Genoa, and then I played a tournament with them, and Cremonese was there, and they offered me to trial here. And I did and ended up signing for Cremonese.
“I had offers, so I was testing the waters to see which club I wanted to go to, and I ended up choosing Cremonese. It’s a beautiful club. The facilities are amazing, that’s one of the reasons we chose to come here. It’s a very nice club.”
The 17-year-old has endured a difficult time for the past 13 months, with Covid-19 gripping Europe and, in particular, Italy. The country has had 3.87 million total Coronavirus cases with 117,000 deaths.
There have been several lockdowns nationwide and with the football season interrupted.
“There were not many games because of Covid. It’s been pretty hard,” Novello admitted.
But the youth and Primavera campaigns restarted earlier this month, and the centre forward is excited to be back on the pitch and continuing his development.
“It’s going well,” he said.
“This season, we only ended up playing two games, and then the season got cancelled again because of Covid. But we’ve started the new season again, AC Milan. It’s been good to get that going again.
“It’s exciting. I’ve been with Under-17s, but I’ve [also] been training with the Primavera, the reserves. The standard [compared to in Australia] is very, very different. It’s a lot more technical.
“When I was in Australia playing… they get football over here if you know what I mean. If you love football, you love it a lot more [here].”
Originally from Bunbury, Novello started his footballing journey at Dynamos before moving on to NPL club Armadale. He then had a spell at South West Phoenix FC before heading to Italy.
“I was born in WA, in a city called Bunbury,” the attacker explained.
“My dad used to play in Italy when he was younger. From a young age he got me kicking a ball in the backyard.
“I play as a striker at Cremonese. We play a 5-3-2 with two strikers, so I play as one of the strikers up top. In Australia I played in midfield, as an attacking midfielder, so a bit of everything up front.”
Novello is learning his trade at I Grigiorossi, in Italy’s Lombardy region. He believes his skills are sharpening at the Serie B outfit, where former Socceroo John Aloisi had two seasons and made 48 appearances between 1995 and 1997.
“I’ve definitely improved here,” Novello said.
“The style of football is a lot different to what I played in Australia, so I’ve definitely improved a lot. But I’ve focused on my improvements off the pitch, which has helped me a lot.
“My goal is to hopefully do my best and make it pro, see what goes from there. Hopefully, one day play for Australia – that would be nice.”