Andrew Gallucci must have wondered when his time was going to come. Not to be drafted, but simply to play at senior level with Williamstown in the VFL.
Gallucci spent his first two seasons with the Seagulls in the development league team for all bar one game. A weaker person might have thrown in the towel at the end of 2014, but Gallucci would bide his time in the development league, and wait his turn.
It was a decision that paid off handsomely on Friday when he was selected by Carlton, the club he supports, as pick 19 in the AFL rookie draft.
“It’s a great lesson for state league players to stay in the system, and a reminder that everyone develops at different rates,” Williamstown football manager Chris Dixon told Star Weekly.
Gallucci built a reputation almost overnight as one of the premier crumbing forwards in the VFL. The 21-year-old booted 29 goals in 19 games this season and was a key plank in the Seagulls premiership team.
But it was the defensive layer that Gallucci has added to his game that attracted the interest of the recruiters.
“He was always the human highlights reel, was able to kick all of the goals and always had that speed, but unless he could use it defensively it was not going to be much use for an AFL draft point of view,” Dixon said.
Seagulls’ fans will miss one of the most lethal small forward tandems in the VFL when Gallucci splits from his partner-in-crime Anthony Anastasio.
“The boys have been joking that Batman and Robin have been split up,” Dixon said.
“They were obviously pretty dynamic for us in the front half, so at least we’ve still got half the package.”
The rookie draft brought together a near unbreakable duo in mates Adam Marcon and Kane Lambert. Marcon will join Lambert at Richmond after being selected at pick 47.
The pair played junior football at Preston together, moved to the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup, went on to the Northern Blues in the VFL, and then transferred to Williamstown.
Lambert was picked up by Richmond last season and Dixon jokingly said Marcon was only left behind in the Seagulls nest because the Tigers had to choose one or the other.
Marcon got to the big league in his own right. The 23-year-old was one of the VFL’s most dependable midfielders, with a game average of 23 disposals and eight tackles last season.
“He’s a genuine quality VFL midfielder and now it’s up to him,” Dixon said.