LIKE every talented first-year player in the AFL, Charlie Spargo is no certainly to crack a senior game this season.
Those guarantees simply don’t exist.
But Melbourne Football Club rehabilitation co-ordinator and Albury footballer Daniel Cross says the small forward is giving himself every opportunity.
Cross worked closely with Spargo in the rehab group when he first arrived at the Demons following a shoulder reconstruction and believes his drive to succeed is unquestionable.
“From the moment he arrived at Melbourne he’s been very diligent,” Cross said.
“He works hard, listens and I know the coaches are extremely happy with him.
“He’s worked his way through the rehab and hasn’t missed a beat since joining the main group.”
Despite Spargo sliding to pick No.29 in the draft after his TAC Cup campaign was derailed by a shoulder injury last year, the Demons obviously hold him in high regard.
He was selected in their AFLX squad before being named as an emergency during the JLT Series.
Spargo may have to bide his time however given Melbourne’s wealth of young talent and a relatively short injury list.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a couple of games this year,” Cross said.
“He’s going along really well at the moment.
“He’s a pretty serious operator which reminds me of his dad, Paul, and he’s hard on himself as well.”
Spargo’s biggest challenge since arriving at Melbourne has been coming to terms with the day-to-day rigours of AFL football.
It’s a situation Cross found himself in when he first arrived at Western Bulldogs through the 2000 draft.
“It’s a big change,” Cross said.
“Charlie’s a first-year player building up his strength and it takes some time.
“Your mind gets trained to it after a while and things get easier in that regard.”
The 18-year-old impressed Murray Bushrangers coach Leon Higgins enornously with his class and attitude in 2016 before being struck down last season.
“Defensive pressure is a big thing today and that’s one of his strengths,” Higgins said.
The Spargo name is well-known in AFL circles with four generations making it to the highest level.
He has followed the path of his father, Paul (North Melbourne and Brisbane), grandfather, Bob (Footscray), and great grandfather, Bob snr (Footscray and Melbourne), in making the big-time.
Spargo is the 12th and final nomination for the Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year award.
The winner will be announced on Friday night.