World Footy: ICC, Youngster from park footy to MCG

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    Melbourne Victory youngster Stefan Nigro jumps from park footy to MCG

    Matt Windley, Herald Sun
    July 17, 2016 9:24pm

    ON New Year’s Day Stefan Nigro was a Melbourne Victory youth player who hadn’t made his A-League debut.

    Since that time the 19-year-old from Ballarat has done that, won a senior contract and is now preparing to face one of the world’s biggest clubs, Juventus, at the MCG.

    “It’s very exciting,” Nigro said.

    “Not only with the club’s history but also its current form and the quality of players they have, it’s going to be an unreal experience.”

    Nigro has been in the MCG stands plenty of times before - for Collingwood AFL games, Socceroos matches and, as a Victory diehard growing up, the famous 2013 friendly against Liverpool that drew 95,000 fans.

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    Stefane Nigro has played just three games for the Victory. Picture: George Salpigtidis

    But to actually play on the hallowed turf, he said, would be something else.

    Against Liverpool several Victory youngsters put their names up in lights while confronting the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.

    That, Nigro said, gives him confidence he might be able to do the same if given the chance on Saturday night.

    “These games are friendlies, but that’s just the title,” he said.

    “You want to do well, you want to gain confidence. I’m definitely looking forward to doing that.”

    Nigro signed a two-year senior contract last month after making three impressive league appearances this year both as a fullback and defensive midfielder.

    And although he is rapt with his new professional status, Nigro said he isn’t getting carried away.

    “The last six months have been really big for me, but I only see it as being the start,” he said.

    “I’ve got to keep my head down and keep working hard and improving because I know there’s still a lot of improvements to be made in my game both physically and technically.”
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