ALBURY gun young Charlie Spargo became a fourth generation VFL/AFL player when he was picked up by Melbourne at No. 29 in Friday night’s draft in Sydney.
Only hours before his 18th birthday, the pocket-rocket became the highest selection from Albury-Wodonga since Jack ZIebell was snapped up by North Melbourne with pick nine in 2008.
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 said it was sheer relief to hear his name called out after a roller-coaster season.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Spargo said.
“You are never really sure what’s going to happen and I guess it’s a real bonus staying in Melbourne as well.
“I’ve had a lot of help from a lot of people over the past few years and I just want to thank them all.”
Since being touted as a first-round draft contender following an outstanding 2016, Spargo’s pathway to the AFL has been far from easy with the former Scots School Albury student being struck down by a shoulder reconstruction mid-season.
He also had to contend with Greater Western Sydney’s zone changes after being a member of their academy.
Spargo completed his schooling at Melbourne Grammar this year.
“A few different things happened this year but that’s always going to happen in footy,” he said.
“I’m just looking forward to getting into it.”
Spargo is a North Melbourne supporter after his father, Paul, played 81 matches for the club after being drafted in the mid-1980s.
Although Spargo didn’t play for the Murray Bushrangers this year due to GWS Academy and school commitments as well as injury, coach Leon Higgins said he deserved to be drafted in the top 30.
“He’s a really exciting young player,” Higgins said.
“Defensive pressure is a big thing today and that’s one of his strengths.
“He played really well for us in 2016 and I think he’ll be a good fit at Melbourne.
“We’re rapt for him.”