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Nino the Rising Star


Nino Lazzaro is the VAFAs Round 9 Rising Star nominee for his five goals against Old Scotch last week, hot on the heels of his selection in the Big V Under 19 squad.

18-year-old Nino burst onto the Premier B senior scene for Fitzroy in Round 2, debuting with five goals in victory over Peninsula Old Boys. Hes played every game since.

Nino gained a lot of friends that day at Brunswick Street Oval and a few more in the Round 8 win over Old Carey when he kicked a great grubber goal from the boundary line in the final quarter to help seal another Fitzroy win.

It was a different story for the team on the weekend, as they were thoroughly beaten by Old Scotch, but Nino was again prominent with another bag of five, kicking half of Fitzroys goals for the day.

The coaches rated him in the best players and his chase down tackle resulting in a goal during the final quarter demonstrated his effort and commitment even after the game was done.

Now settling nicely in the Fitzroy forward line, Nino is the teams leading goal kicker at the half way mark of the season.

As a mid-sized forward hes got a great grab and strong ground-level skills too, with a nice burst of pace, keeping pressure on the defenders even when he doesnt have the ball. Fitzroy Senior Coach Nick Mitchell says he is a unique talent.

Nick says Nino is very quiet but also quietly determined and a joy to coach. He trains the way he plays. He is an elite middle-distance runner and possesses a great turn of foot and a very deceptive leap with great hands.

Nino has played very little football until this season as a forward and will continue to improve his forward craft which will make him even more formidable, but he also possesses the ability to play higher, including on a wing./p>

Nino, who is still attending Princes Hill Secondary College, came up to Fitzroy seniors from the Colts at the Fitzroy Junior Football Club having played 138 junior games, starting in the Under 10s. He is a product of one of the fastest growing junior clubs on the north side of Melbourne, which just continues to nurture underage footballers into ready-made senior footballers. The Fitzroy juniors have produced 12 Fitzroy senior debutants in the last two seasons alone.

Congratulations Nino.

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