|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Sydney FC continue to lock away their best young talent, with emerging striker Joel Chianese agreeing to a one-year contract extension on Monday.
After bursting onto the scene late last season with six goals in just nine appearances, Chianese has endured an injury-riddled campaign in 2012-13.
The 23-year-old has managed just six games this season but the club has seen enough to offer him a new deal and ensure he was not tempted away by rival clubs.
"With every player there's always opportunities out there but for me the club approached me pretty quickly," Chianese told reporters on Monday.
"They let me know their intentions of keeping me here, they had faith in me, and they obviously said to me they know what I can do on the park so for me it wasn't really a tough decision.
"It's good now the club's shown a bit of faith in me and they've given me the chance."
Asked how frustrating it's been this season following his stunning debut campaign, Chianese said: "It's been a bit of a letdown.
"I was looking forward to the season after a great end to last season.
"I was always positive, always hoping [to] be back...I've had a few hiccups along the way but I'm back now 100 percent and looking forward to finishing off the year well and go on to next season."
Chianese's re-signing comes after the club also secured the futures of fellow youngsters Rhyan Grant, Sebastian Ryall and Terry Antonis earlier this season.
While the pacy striker is excited about his prospects for next season, the Sky Blues are adamant they are not done with yet in this campaign after surging into the top six over the last few weeks.
Their run of just one defeat in the last six matches has them up into fifth spot, but Chianese said the side could not afford to ease their efforts.
"There's a bit of pressure on us to keep getting the points otherwise you can slip out of the top six very easily," he said.
"But we're pretty confident at the moment. We're doing well but we've got a few away games now so hopefully we can continue that [form]."
As well as Sydney's strong form on the field, things off continue to thrive following the capture of Australia captain Lucas Neill on Saturday and speculation Italian star Alessandro Del Piero will also sign a new contract this week.
"It keeps getting bigger and bigger," Chianese said.
"We've got Alessandro [Del Piero], one of the legends of the game, and now we've got the Australian captain... it's great.
"The type of people they are, they don't think they're better than anyone else and it's great to have those guys in. They're always willing to help."