Anthony Andronaco is a young sportsman going places quickly and at the weekend he added another feather to his cap with a senior debut for Congupna Football Club.DAMEN FRANCIS June 12, 2014 3:15am
Anthony Andronaco has not let coeliac disease prevent him from playing sport at the highest level ahead of his years.
At 15, Anthony Andronaco is already a regular Cricket Shepparton A-grade wicketkeeper and a junior black belt in goju-ryu.
On Saturday he added ‘‘senior footballer’’ to that list.
Andronaco was a late call-up as Congupna’s 22nd man against reigning premier Echuca United at Echuca South Recreation Reserve.
A corked calf to Tom Fuller in the under-17 game rendered him unable to take his place as substitute for the senior game and another injury fast-tracked Andronaco’s debut before half-time.
‘‘I found out during our thirds game that one of our players got a corkie in the first quarter, so they needed someone to go up,’’ Andronaco said.
‘‘I was a bit shocked, already had a few goosebumps, but it was good I was excited to have a go and see how I went.
‘‘(As the substitute) you never know when you are going to go on, it could be the last five minutes or the start of the game.
‘‘It was good just to sit there as well and just watch how they played all their zones and everything like that and I went in in the second quarter and it was a really good experience.’’
An early uncontested mark and handball settled the nerves.
‘‘I didn’t get much of the ball, but I laid a few tackles as well, so in the end I was happy with what I did,’’ he said.
Andronaco played his junior football for Guthrie St Demons, before following friends to The Road for under-14s.
Working his way through the ranks, Andronaco is most at home playing on the ball or a half-forward flank.
However, with thirds teammate Trent Greening holding down a senior spot, he has shown his versatility, booting five goals as a target forward against the Eagles.
Andronaco represented Goulburn Murray Schoolboys at under-15 level and tried out for the Murray Bushrangers’ under-16 program, but a groin injury limited his opportunities to impress and he was cut.
Good form for The Road helped him get rewarded by senior coach Kevin O’Donoghue, following in the footsteps of Joel Brett, Patrick Martin and Matt Teitz in getting a chance under the MFL’s substitute rule.
Andronaco arguably came to prominence as a sportsman on the cricket pitch, with his performances as an opening batsman for Cricket Shepparton and Northern Rivers.
Shepparton and Youth Club United captain Josh Lawrence backed that ability when he made Andronaco his No.
He was called up to Shepparton’s senior representative team as the association cast one eye to the future and while a groin injury — the same one that restricted his Murray Bushrangers involvement — kept him from playing, he got plenty out of the Melbourne Country Week experience.
About the only thing Andronaco can’t do is eat wheat or gluten.
Two years ago he was diagnosed with coeliac disease, but it hasn’t stopped him excelling at sport.
‘‘When I first found out it was a really big shock because everything I ate pretty much had to do with wheat or gluten,’’ Andronaco said.
‘‘It’s taken me a really long time to start to get used to it, especially going to mates’ houses or the footy or the cricket I have to bring my own food.
‘‘But I don’t mind and it’s a lot healthier as well, everything that has wheat and that is normally junk food anyway.’’
Andronaco hopes to take the next step and make his full Murray Football League senior debut soon.
Goulburn Valley Football League under-18 interleague squad is packed with talent and will give coaching staff headaches when it comes to trimming players.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
A WORKING group has been formed to tackle Moama’s housing problems.
ROCHESTER’S mums and bubs fitness class is only in its third week but it has already doubled its enrolment numbers, blowing organisers’ expectations out of the water.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Members of a Cobram social group have encouraged women to become a part of community groups, committees and boards.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
ix industry and local government representatives, five water services committee members and two community members have been appointed to the new Connections Stakeholder Consultative Committee.
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