Unwanted record fine by D'Apuzzo

Western Sydney's remarkable debut campaign has seen the history books re-written, but defender Adam D'Apuzzo has his own unwanted record.

Western Sydney Wanderers' remarkable Hyundai A-League debut campaign has seen the history books re-written, but a key component of Tony Popovic's side - defender Adam D'Apuzzo - has claimed a somewhat unwanted record in the goalscoring department.

The pacy fullback has, however, been a model of consistency in helping the Wanderers maintain the league's best defensive record.

Remarkably, D'Apuzzo's unwavering performances have come after a year out of the game, in what has been yet another sub-plot in the Wanderers' extraordinary story.

D'Apuzzo's return to the Hyundai A-League has seen the 26-year-old extend the record for the most games without a goal for an outfield player to 123.

D'Apuzzo, however, is maintaining a sense of perspective, and indeed good humour.

"It is perhaps not the best record, but at least I'm in there for something," he said with a smile.

"They (my teammates) don't give me grief, because they see at training that I'm able to finish.

"I don't really get the opportunity to finish. At set-pieces I normally sit back on half-way.

"Of all the games I have played in the A-League, I can honestly say I have been in the box for a set-piece maybe only three times.

"I have come close a few times, but I guess it is just not meant to be.

"If we have our position cemented with the premiership, I might have to press the coach to push me forward."

In one sense, D'Apuzzo is in good company with Socceroo captain Lucas Neill now a record 89 games into his international career without having bulged the opposition net.

D'Apuzzo, who hit the woodwork on more than one occasion during his 102 appearances for Newcastle, was a regular goalscorer in his youth.

"I always think what I am going to do when I score, but it should be quite the party," said D'Apuzzo.

"I'm not sure what celebration to pull out. I don't know if I can stay calm and just think 'finally'. Or if I will go nuts!

Like everyone, D'Apuzzo has been pleasantly surprised by the Wanderers success in their inaugural season.

"It has been amazing. I was something like the tenth player signed, and that wasn't far out from the start of the season, so there was a few worried thoughts, but it is all come to fruition," he said.

Last week's record-breaking ninth win on the trot leaves the Wanderers five points clear at the summit as they prepare to take on a rejuvenated Perth Glory this Sunday.

"No one is really speaking about it (winning the Premiers Plate), because we don't want to put any extra pressure on ourselves," D'Apuzzo said.

"I try not to talk about it with the boys, being a superstitious person. The coaches tell us to think only of the next week, and not to get ahead of ourselves.

"And I don't think the mood has changed since pre-season.

Hailing originally from the St George district in southern Sydney, D'Apuzzo cut his teeth during his formative years with two great names of Australian football; Sydney Olympic and Marconi.

After five successful seasons with the Jets - and a lengthy stint with the Australia U-23 side during their successful qualification campaign for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - D'Apuzzo sprung a surprise by taking time out of football to focus on his studies.

"I had achieved what I wanted to with football at that point," D'Apuzzo says. "Mentally at the time I didn't love the game as much I could have, and thought I better pursue my other career.

"Now I'm super grateful for Tony (Popovic) making that call, because I couldn't have imagined things going better.

"I would have kicked myself if I wasn't a part of this. It has been a great year for me to come back into the game.

"This experience has really ignited my love for the game."