Wolves battles back again
It has been a whirlwind past couple of months for Gianluca DelPriore.
The 20-year-old St. Catharines native was planning on playing professionally again in Italy, but when that fell through, hooked on with the Oakville Blue Devils of League1 where he scored a goal in four games.
DelPriore was persuaded to go to Oakville on the basis of their promise to help him land a scholarship, but instead secured a scholarship on his own to Niagara University this fall.
“I really had been convinced to go there because they said they were going to help me get into schools and they tried their best but I feel the offer I had with Niagara was just the best I could have got,” he said. “I kind of did that on my own and was happy with that,” DelPriore said.
Toss in the fact DelPriore wasn’t overly happy with his playing time in Oakville and he quickly pivoted and re-joined the St. Catharines Club Roma Wolves, who were only too happy to have the speedy forward return.
“We missed him,” Club Roma technical director of soccer Davide Massafra said. “We were very happy he decided to come back. He’s the engine. He always comes to play. If you watch him running, when he comes off it’s because he doesn’t have anything left.”
DelPriore has a long history of playing for Massafra with Empire Soccer which also helped.
“Fortunately, Davide and (head coach) Federico (Turriziani) always had a spot for me here and they welcomed me back,” DelPriore said. “Left on good terms. Talked throughout the offseason and said they understood I wanted to try something new and they were proud of me. They were going to fill my spot but they left it open for the first few and I’m very appreciative of that.”
DelPriore felt it was beneficial to see first hand the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the soccer pitch.
“It was good seeing another side of it, but I always felt even the training here at Roma was one of the best,” he said. “You can’t really get better than that in League1.”
DelPriore will major in computer science at Niagara. Purple Eagles head coach Bill Boyle was familiar with DelPriore from his time playing with Empire in the States.
“He gave me a really good scholarship,” DelPriore said. “It was amazing. I was looking for schools, e-mailing schools all the time and it all fell in place.”
The Wolves, coming off a huge 3-2 come-from-behind victory playing down two men over Hamilton United Wednesday, rallied to tie Darby FC 2-2 Friday night at Roma.
Antonio Agovski, who scored all three goals for the Wolves versus Hamilton, netted both goals again Friday.
“We are always looking for points,” Massafra said. “Wednesday is going to be one of those games that’s always going to be a memory. It was incredible how we were able to do it. So happy for the players because I think we deserve it.”
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