Rizzo could be diamond in the rough

Milton Keynes Dons appear to have unearthed a real diamond in left midfielder Nick Rizzo.

The 25-year-old Australian made his debut for Milton Keynes Dons against Luton on Saturday and his pedigree illuminated the match for 70 minutes.

And the Dons have former England manger Terry Venables to thank for securing his services. After a few seasons at Liverpool, Rizzo played under Venables at Crystal Palace before the club's administration saw him move to Serie B club Ternana in 2000.

Speaking on the club's website, Rizzo picks up the story: "I wanted to come back to England so I rang Terry Venables and he had a contact at the Milton Keynes Dons and it went from there really.

"I've been around for about three weeks, but then we waited for the (international clearance) forms to come back through from Italy so it's been a bit frustrating. But it's been good for me to get used to the surroundings, and I already feel a part of things."

He continued: "I can play on both sides, but I prefer to play on the left really. I like that position, and would say that the offensive part of my game is strong. We play a 4-4-2 at MK Dons, so I feel I can adapt to the team quite well.

"And at the age of 25, this is the stage of my career that I need to get back to form. I've had problems with injuries, but this season is crucial. It's just a matter of playing again and showing people I'm still the same player."