New Latics signing Carl Piergianni spoke to the club after joining from Salford City until the end of the season.
The central defender trained with his new teammates for the first time before the move was confirmed on Monday afternoon. Speaking after his first training session, Piergianni said: "It’s been great. It’s been nice to finally get in and see the lads and get a training session under my belt.
"I’ve been waiting for a little while now so it’s been great to get in the building, meet everyone and get started and hit the ground running. I’ve enjoyed my first day and looking forward to a good week of training before the weekend."
Piergianni was at Boundary Park on 29 December, watching from the dugout as Latics played his Salford side in a league encounter. The 27-year-old was impressed by what he saw of the club, facilities and fanbase.
"I was on the bench for Salford and just being around the stadium - it’s a great stadium - just seeing the support that Oldham get to games is fantastic and that really appealed to me and it was something that made me want to come and join the club.
"I think the club itself has a great history. I think everyone knows how big of a club this is and it’s in a false position at the moment I think so to come to a club like this with such rich history and great support was a no brainer for me and hopefully I can come here, play some games and hopefully drive the club to where it needs to be.
"I was at the Salford game and I know how talented this squad can be and I think once they get a bit of confidence and a few results behind them I think they can definitely be in a much better league position than they are now."
Piergianni is a centre back by trade, but also netted 12 times for the Ammies last season, including the crucial second goal in the playoff final at Wembley. Despite his impressive goal scoring record, Piergianni primarily prides himself on his defensive abilities.
"(I’m) an out and out defender first and foremost. Yeah I’ve scored goals previously and scored a lot last year but my first ambition and my first drive is to really defend and defend with a passion. Not just myself but I like to think I drive the whole team on and create an atmosphere which helps everyone thrive in.
"You’re always going to get 100% from me on the pitch with a never say die attitude so I’d like to think that’s the minimum you’ll get and hopefully I can chip in with goals and clean sheets along the way."
Piergianni began his career at Peterborough, before enjoying spells at Spalding United, Altrincham, Stockport County, Corby Town, Boston United and South Melbourne. He signed for Salford in 2017 and has made over a hundred appearances for the Ammies.
During this time he proved himself as a firm fans favourite at the Peninsula Stadium, scooping Supporters’ Player of the Year in both 2018 and 2019, in addition to winning Players’ Player of the Year last season, as he helped the club seal back to back promotions. The defender made 13 league appearances for the Ammies this season, and said the opportunity to play regularly in the football league was a major motivation for signing.
"I’ve played a fair few football league games earlier in the season but when the opportunity comes for me to play games at a club like Oldham and the size of the club and the stature, it’s a no brainer for me. It was never an opportunity I could turn down. To come in and play for such a historic club and get league games until the end of the season and see what happens beyond that was a no brainer for me."
Piergianni is Head Coach Dino Maamria’s second signing of the January transfer window. Having spoken to the boss, the centre back says he can bring the sort of attitude that Maamria is looking for.
"We’ve had a few conversations and I think more than anything he wants characters and I think I can help drive that. I can help drive a good culture round the club and drive that hard working attitude.
"The gaffer spoke to me and I’ve played against him a few times so I know what he’s about, he knows what I’m about, so I think we can have a great relationship. Like I said I’m looking forward to building a relationship with the fans and really driving it on through hard work and good performances on the pitch."
Piergianni will team up with Zak Mills once more as well, after the pair spent two seasons together at Boston United between 2014-2016. He spoke to his former teammate once he became aware of Latics’ interest, with the fullback affirming Piergianni’s desire to join the club.
"I’ve spoken to Zak Mills quite a few times, obviously we’re good mates, both played together and both from Peterborough originally. I’ve spoken to him and he’s sang highly about the club and what a great place it is to be and to play games so that only confirmed how much I wanted to be here."
Piergianni joins the club until the end of the season, with a selection of aims for himself and the team during his stay at Boundary Park.
"I think first and foremost I want to come in and play and I think as a team first and foremost we need to stop the rot. I think it’s three defeats in a row now so we need to stop that, get that sorted and then see how high we can climb in the league. I think we can get a few wins under our belt, as I said the squad is more talented than the position shows so if we can build that confidence and build on results then we’ll see where we can end up at the end of the season.
"Like I said, it’s a great opportunity for me to come and play for a great club so there’s no telling what can happen after that."
Latics travel to Macclesfield for an important league fixture on Saturday, with Piergianni available and in contention to make his first team debut. The new signing cannot wait for his appearance in a Latics shirt.
"I’m sat here disappointed that it’s Monday and not Saturday because I just want to get out there and show what I can do and give everything really to play for this club. I see it as a great opportunity and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to play for such a big club so I’ll go out there and give my all. I’m raring to go for Saturday."