ON SATURDAY Luca Molluso sent a clear message to Echuca Football Club supporters in particular – and the Goulburn Valley Football League in general.
This might be a very ordinary season for the Murray Bombers but Molluso and the rest of the club’s Baby Bombers are coming to the rescue.
The 17-year-old made his senior debut against Shepparton at Deakin Reserve as a half back but with James McNamara injured early in the game was swung into the forward line.
And roaming the half forward line the nervous teen bagged three of his team’s eight goals for the game.
Echuca might have been steamrolled, going down by 54 points but this is clearly a time of transition at Victoria Park.
Molluso’s selection followed other junior debuts in 2017 – Jonte Opie, Brodie Kemp, Jobee Warde, Mitch Kemp and Darby Henderson.
All are talented, all look the real deal and will almost certainly all be stepping up in 2018.
“Well I was actually meant to be playing half back but when Jimmy (McNamara) got injured I had to take his position and his role,” Molluso said.
“I was just as nervous as, and once the game started I wanted that first touch so bad”.
Fortunately he didn’t have to wait long as he was involved in an early chain of defensive possessions initiated by Bart Phillips, helping ease Molluso’s nerves.
But even this first-touch feeling would not be able to compare to what was to come.
“I was actually trying to centre the ball to be honest, so when it went through for a goal it just felt amazing,” he admitted.
“All the boys got around me too. Bart (Phillips) even ran from full back for me.”
Clearly that scoring sensation wasn’t enough though as he proceeded to go back and slot the other two.
At the same time he was tackling like a rampant defender, and attacking hard with numerous repeat efforts.
Cramps ended Molluso’s memorable debut a few minutes before the final siren.
The day itself didn’t quite go to plan for the Murray Bombers, who fought valiantly for three quarters before Shepparton opened the floodgates to register a big win (and doing no harm to their premiership credentials).
“The effort was there but we just couldn’t maintain it for four quarters,” Molluso said post game.
A disappointing end result for the young man, but on a personal level a ripping start all the same.
“Next year I just want to play some consistent footy and do what I can for this club,” he added.