Anthony Brolic: Our Magnificent Seven

Football, like life, is as much about creating your chances as it is taking them.

The only people that are “lucky” are lotto winners or Kardashians.

Generally speaking everyone has to work for their break – then work harder again to ensure it doesn’t slip through their fingers.

Those that succeed often do so in spite of the odds and rarely triumph without the support, guidance and assistance of others; those that don’t lack either the will or the talent. For a lot of people having both isn’t enough.

For Anthony Brolic, Box Hill’s number seven, there is no issue when it comes to will or talent. He has an abundance of both and anyone who has seen him play can attest to that.

Fiercely competitive and beautifully skilled, Brolic is just as dangerous inside the contest as he is darting inside fifty with ball in hand. He can both create and exploit space, win his own ball or read the play to make himself the final link in the chain. Its a balance of styles that makes him a versatile and highly adaptable figure for this new-look Hawks.

His fine recent form is fitting reward for all the hard work that has gotten him to this juncture of his football career and, if theres any justice, will continue moving him headlong towards something bigger.

A snap shot such as this hardly does that journey justice, but for a player in career best form we needn’t look too far in the rear view mirror to appreciate how far he’s come and how far he might yet go.

A product of the Eastern Ranges, Brolic was a member of last season’s Development League premiership side – he kicked six and had twenty-eight touches in the Grand Final to be one of the best on ground – and had a taste of senior football during 2016, playing seven games for a Box Hill side that failed to qualify for September football for the first time since 2008.

It’s fair to say that taste whet his appetite.

“That experience was unreal,” Brolic said, speaking of his early exposure to VFL football.

“(As a result) coming into this pre-season I felt more comfortable and knew I could handle playing regular senior footy.

The ten months since have seen him transition into and entrench himself in Chris Newman’s best twenty-two.

The young gun credits a number of things with his ongoing growth and development, family and the benefits of putting a solid block of training behind him chief amongst them.

“I’d have to give a lot of credit to my sisters, especially my older sister Natasha.

“She cooks some good, healthy food at home and we also train together and push each other to get the best out of one another.

“Also, completing a lot more of this year’s pre-season was a great springboard.”

Off a strong pre-season and with an impressive body of work behind him thus far Brolic is typically and unsurprisingly humble.

“I wouldn’t say I’m in career best form, but I’m much more consistent than I’ve ever been.

“I’m really enjoying playing with such a talented group and I’m just happy to be contributing to the team in any way possible.”

Not just “any” way, but many ways. Brolic has played in all fourteen of the Hawks’ senior matches this season. His sixteen goals – ten of which came in a sensational month between rounds ten and thirteen – has him third amongst all Hawks and just last weekend a slight tactical change saw him spend more time around the contest, resulting in a season-high thirty touches.

“I enjoy spending time up forward and getting on the end of a couple, but I enjoyed my role last weekend, it was a lot of fun.”

Given license to push into the midfield Brolic excelled, winning his own ball and giving his team first use at the source.

“I’d like to think it wasn’t a one-off and I can make that position my own.”

We’ll have to wait and see, but there’s no doubt Chris Newman and his coaching group would’ve liked what they saw.

Twenty-three kicks, seven handballs, four clearances, five tackles and five inside fifties proved how capable Brolic is of hurting the opposition in varied ways and, depending on what challenges the opposition throws up, means he could be a terrific weapon for a side working its way towards finals footy.

Basically, if the call comes down from the box to move him onto the ball it’s a pretty handy plan B.

Part of a core of young Box Hill players that have contributed to Box Hill’s outstanding season, Brolic knows just how important a role he and his teammates have played to this point and knows full well what is still required of them.

“We are a very close group. The younger guys especially, the ones that played in the development side last year, really got to know each other well having played a lot of footy together.

“And the new boys this year, like Adduci and Nels (Nelson Lane) have been great for us.

“They bought in to what Box Hill are about from day one of pre-season and it’s showed in their footy this year.

“The competition for spots has really driven me and the group to play great footy, which is good for the Club and all of us.”

That they all share the same goal should excite Box Hill fans as we edge towards September. Rest easy, though, because no one is getting distracted as the prize for a long season comes into sharp focus.

“I’m definitely excited about what this team can do come finals and I can’t wait to find out, I feel we can do something special, but you can never look too far ahead.”

Now that I think about it, In Brolic’s case perhaps the recipe for his recent success is as simple as he makes it sound.

“I want to make sure I always give the team my best.”

Whether thats at half forward or out of the stoppage, in a game away at Sandy or a big final in September, Anthony Brolic’s best is something to look forward to.

Similar Posts