CHARLIE Spargo’s family isn’t certain where his nickname ‘Chugga’ evolved.
It more than likely originated from one of his boyhood Albury premiership idols in Charlie ‘Chugga’ Gaylard but nobody is quite sure.
Whatever the background, it seems a good fit.
After having the biggest year of his footballing life derailed by a shoulder reconstruction in June, he slowly picked himself up and is now motoring towards Friday’s AFL draft.
It hasn’t been an easy year for the 17-year-old after being one of the young guns caught up in Greater Western Sydney’s recruiting zone changes.
But the dashing forward prefers to focus on the positives rather than the negatives.
“My shoulder was pretty frustrating,” Spargo said.
“I’ve never had any injuries until this year, maybe just a corkie or two, so it’s been a really big learning experience.
“I struggled early on and didn’t know what to do.
“I’ve never missed any more than one or two games in my life.
“I couldn’t exercise and stuff like that, but I guess if I get drafted then more injuries are going to come and at least I’ll know how to deal with it.”
While the injury setback has seen him slip in pre-draft talk from a first to second round selection, the 173-centimetre Spargo is still a short-priced favourite to be the first Murray Bushranger called out in Sydney.
Spargo is arguably the most exciting talent Albury-Wodonga has unearthed since Jack Ziebell in 2008.
He’s singlehandedly won matches for The Scots School Albury, starred for Albury against older opposition and turned heads in dozens of representative matches.
Now, the youngest son of five-time Albury premiership coach, Paul, is just excited to be close to fulfilling his dream.
“It is exciting,” Spargo said.
“Nothing is ever certain in the draft but if I’m lucky enough to get my name called out on Friday then it will be satisfying because I’ve worked pretty hard for the past four or five years.
“Hopefully some of my mates and other Bushies’ boys get drafted as well.”
Spargo has stayed firmly in draft contention on the back of his 2016 and early-2017 form.
He averaged almost 20 possessions for the Murray Bushrangers last year and carried that form into this season with Melbourne Grammar.
He failed to make an appearance for the Bushrangers this season due to GWS Academy commitments and injury during the first round of the Australian under-18 championships.
While the life-long North Melbourne supporter would love to stay in the city after recently completing his schooling at Melbourne Grammar, he holds no fears about a move inter-state.
“I don’t really care,” he said.
“Staying in Melbourne would be ideal, but I’m not too fazed because I’ve moved away from home before.
“It was surprisingly pretty easy.
“I didn’t get homesick at all.
“I guess it was just for me.”
Just chugging along.