All in the family for Marcon
Williamstown’s Adam Marcon is proud of his Italian heritage – in fact, it helped him come to love playing Australian football.
Marcon’s grandparents came to Australia from Italy as children and a generation later, their son Adrian had embraced the country’s national sport.
The 22-year-old Seagulls midfielder said Adrian, his father, was a “cult hero” at the Preston Bullants, where he won two VFA premierships in the 1980s.
“He played very differently to me,” Marcon said of his father.
“He was a bit of a high-flyer and took plenty of big marks, (while) I think I’m more of the in-and-under type.
“He’s had a massive impact on my career; he’s extremely competitive and always giving me feedback on my game.”
Marcon grew up in Reservoir, just next to Preston in Melbourne’s north, and played his junior football with some of his Italian cousins at the Preston Bullants.
A strong sense of his heritage has led to Marcon being named a VFL Multicultural Ambassador.
He said the best thing about his role in AFL Victoria’s multicultural program was being able to build relationships with people from other cultures that he wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to meet.
“I’ve built a couple of relationships with some boys of Sudanese background,” Marcon said.
“We talk every couple of months and it’s just to help educate them about football so they can go and educate others about football in turn.”
Marcon’s work with aspiring multicultural footballers through talent academies and at clinics has opened his eyes to the natural gifts other cultures can bring to the game.
“I think what surprises me is the athletic ability and enthusiasm in the Sudanese community that I have a bit to do with,” Marcon said.
“The raw talent is extraordinarily exciting.
“(It’s) their ability to jump and mark... and although they’re still learning, they’re just having a go and that’s great.”
Marcon’s own talent is also plain to see for all involved in the Peter Jackson VFL.
After a best-and-fairest season with the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup in 2010, Marcon spent three years with the Northern Blues.
He played 40 games for his father’s former club, winning Northern’s best-and-fairest award and earning a spot in the VFL Team of the Year in 2012, provoking plenty of chatter about his potential to be drafted into the AFL.
An AFL opportunity did not arise and Marcon crossed to Williamstown for the 2014 season, where he’d have the opportunity to spend consistent time in the midfield with the Seagulls going standalone that year.
Marcon was selected in the VFL Team of the Year again last season and is averaging over 22 disposals and seven tackles per game in the second placed 2015 Williamstown outfit.
He’s putting the performances on the board, but if Marcon needs any extra inspiration in his quest to crack the AFL, he can always go back to where it all started for him in Preston.
Long-time friend Kane Lambert was selected by Richmond in last year’s AFL Rookie Draft after playing alongside Marcon at Preston in their junior days, as well as at the Northern Knights and Northern Blues, and then also spending 2014 with him at Williamstown.
“Kane and I keep an eye on each other and still try and give each other a bit of feedback,” Marcon said.
“It’s great to see him doing so fantastically well and that’s really motivating for me as well.”
Multicultural Round in the VFL will be celebrated in Round 17.
Williamstown plays Port Melbourne this Saturday at North Port Oval in the Channel 7 game at midday.