Gallucci launches from U16 Champs
As the 2015 NAB AFL U16 Championships kick off in Queensland on Saturday, last year’s carnival MVP for Vic Metro Jordan Gallucci has continued his strong form in this year’s U18 Championships and TAC Cup as a 17-year-old.
The Eastern Ranges’ Jordan Gallucci is proof of how the U16 Championships can launch talented young footballers to bigger and better things.
At last year’s carnival, the Vic Metro coaches threw Gallucci onto the half-back line – a position he’d only played once before in a competitive match – and it has certainly paid dividends for the youngster from Lilydale.
“It was a little bit of a shock in terms of where I’d be playing,” Gallucci said.
“All throughout the (Vic Metro) training, it was through the midfield – and that’s where I played all my junior football – but I got thrown down back (in the first match) and I really enjoyed it.”
Gallucci used his skillful boot and ability to run and carry the ball at speed to drive Metro forward, and ended up being named Metro’s best player across the three matches.
Soon after, Gallucci made his TAC Cup debut for the Ranges as a 16-year-old in August, before starting this year with Eastern in that same position he made his own at the U16 Championships.
“I think I’m comfortable down there,” Gallucci said.
“I’ve been watching Chris Yarran a lot this year in terms of playing off a half-back flank because I like his run and the way he uses the ball.
“(But) I try and play my own style of game.”
Gallucci’s style saw him selected in this year’s Vic Metro U18 Championships squad, impressing in his three matches so far at the top underage representative level.
The jump from starring at the U16 representative level to performing consistently in the elite U18 competitions against older boys can seem like a potentially difficult one to handle.
But Gallucci said many of his teammates from last year’s U16 Championships – including Oakleigh Charger Sam McLarty and Sandringham Dragon Jack Scrimshaw, who were also selected in Vic Metro’s U18 squad this year – have managed the jump well.
“I think they’ve been able to go into their TAC Cup side and really make a stamp on where they’re going to play and how they’re going to play, which is really good,” Gallucci said.
“It’s always challenging going from that (U16) level and then going up again, but I think all the boys have done their best and they’re playing some really good footy.”
North Ballarat Rebel Jarrod Berry is another 2014 U16 Championships MVP who has adapted well to U18 representative football, impressing in this year’s title-winning Vic Country team as a 17-year-old.
Victoria’s U16 representatives for 2015 are in Queensland until Friday week. The Championships fixture can be seen below:
Saturday July 4 at Metricon Stadium:
Vic Country vs WA (9am)
Vic Metro vs SA (11.20am)
Tuesday July 7 at Metricon Stadium:
Vic Country vs Vic Metro (12pm)
Friday July 10 at Southport:
Vic Country vs SA (10am)
Vic Metro vs WA (12pm)