Young gun stands out in golden era

Myrtleford Times - - Myrtleford Savoy -

At a club that for so long was starved of cup suc­cess, Vin­nie Paglia is an ex­cep­tion.

The lo­cal prod­uct has been for­tu­nate enough to ar­rive in the se­nior ranks dur­ing a golden era.

On Sun­day, the 19 year-old will line up in his fourth cup fi­nal, the same num­ber of full sea­sons he’s played at se­nior level.

And the left-back’s im­por­tance to the Savoy line-up con­tin­ues to grow.

The skil­ful young­ster has formed part of the com­pe­ti­tion’s best de­fence with Jake Miles, cap­tain Bren­ton Cook and Raul Pahina con­ced­ing just 19 goals from 22 games this sea­son.

“We have played to­gether for so long, we know how we all play and ev­ery­one’s strengths, we feel very solid back there and have a re­ally good re­la­tion­ship, es­pe­cially with Jay­den (Vescio) be­hind us al­ways talk­ing,” Paglia said.

Co-coach, Vescio, who has watched the young­ster evolve into a star from be­hind the sticks, said Paglia thrived on a chal­lenge.

“When Matt (Park) and I took the job we had this lit­tle short 50kg kid that had a lot of po­ten­tial but prob­a­bly wasn’t strong enough to play as a winger,” he said.

“We thought we could play him as a wing-back and he has taken some huge scalps along the jour­ney.”

Paglia put his hand up to nul­lify, former Co­bram and now Goul­burn Val­ley Suns star Billy Mar­shall in last year’s de­cider and last week did the job on Mel­rose speed­ster Adam Wa­ters.

“Any­one that watched that game (last year’s cup fi­nal) would say Vin­nie tow­elled Mar­shall up and he will get an­other mas­sive job this week whether it is Pete (No­ordeweir) or Noah (Spi­teri) or even Grovesy (An­drew Grove),” Vescio said.

“At 19 years old he has a chance to win a third cup to go with two leagues, he’s go­ing al­right the lit­tle fella.”

Paglia said the big brings the best out of him.

“You are al­ways ex­cited for a cup fi­nal, it doesn’t mat­ter how many you play in,” he said.

“The big stage is much bet­ter, you have peo­ple yelling abuse some­times and a lot go­ing on but I think it makes you play bet­ter.

The tal­ented teen also cred­its Park and Tom Youngs as big con­trib­u­tors to his de­vel­op­ment.

“Com­ing from pro­fes­sional back­grounds they bring a lot to me and all the younger guys around the club,” he said.

“Since I moved to right-back or left-back I feel like I con­trib­ute a bit more, it’s been my fifth year play­ing se­niors and I think I have learnt a lot and am get­ting bet­ter with ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Paglia is one of just two Myrtle­ford play­ers to play ev­ery game this sea­son. stage

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