Soccio: “We’re being the hunted at the moment.”

This is Julian Soccio’s third year at the Box Hill Hawks and he is set to play in his third consecutive year of finals for the club. After coming to the Hawks from the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup system, Soccio has relished the opportunity to play at VFL level.

“Marco (Senior Coach Marco Bello) was my coach in 2013 at the Northern Knights and dragged me out to Box Hill in 2014 after I missed out on the draft.”

“I’m coming to the end of my third year now at the club. It’s gone pretty quickly at times but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and looking forward to what’s to come.”

“Coming into my first game I knew I had to take charge and stand up, which a lot of the boys did as well. But now being a third year player, you kind of have to stand up a bit more and lead from the front and lead by example. It’s just something I’ve tried to take in my stride and so far so good I think.”

After a string of impressive wins with the Development squad in recent weeks, and a 108-point win over Sandringham on the weekend, Soccio knows that there is still work to be done and plenty of contention for a place in the team.

“There’s definitely competition for spots. It’s a good thing to have coming into finals but we’ve just got to make sure everyone’s pushing each other really hard and trying to get that spot in the team.”

“We’ve just got to be wary that last year we were in the same position – coming off a few good wins going before finals – but then didn’t get over the line in the Grand Final when it counted.”

“As a team we do feel a little bit of pressure. We’re being the hunted at the moment so we know we have to be on our game. If we just come out with the same intention we have for the past four weeks or so then I’m sure we can handle it.”

Soccio believes part of the reason the Development team has performed so well this year is because the of the bonds formed between players.

“The group has really gelled well this year. We’ve got a few of the young blokes as well as some of the older guys so we’ve got a good balance and I think that’s really helped us.”

However for Soccio, there are a couple of players in particular who really make an impact on his time spent at the club.

“Sammy Iles is pretty influential. He’s just the wise old man that whenever he talks everybody stops and listens because what he’s got to say is really important.”

“You’re also always going to have a few jokers around the club who always keep the mood a bit jovial and Jack Codd-Miller is always the one to do that. Especially not being able to play at the moment because of his knee, he’s been great. It’s just good to have that balance around the club.”

“The culture and the people are what’s so great about Box Hill. It’s second to none. You speak to other players from other clubs and it doesn’t sound like anything to what Box Hill has. The culture off the field is what helps you impact on the field and as you can see it’s paying off.”

The Box Hill Development team has a bye this week before taking on the Casey Scorpions at City Oval on Saturday 27th August in the last round of the season.



Photo: Jenny Owens Photography

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