Matthew Vicic’s SUANFC NEAFL debut has been long awaited to say the least.
Beginning his junior football at the Drummoyne Power, located just 20 minutes north-west of Sydney University, Vicic’s talent was undeniable.
In his last season at Drummoyne, a 15 year old Vicic was voted runner up in the U/16 League Best & Fairest.
“Drummoyne was a fantastic club to be apart of,” said Vicic.
“I was lucky to have a great bunch of teammates throughout the years, which made it a memorable place to play footy”.
Keen to further his football, Vicic sought a transfer to SUANFC in 2012 following the end of his time at Drummoyne.
Vicic’s transfer was denied due to the strict pathway policies in place, and despite numerous appeals and tribunal hearings, Vicic would not take the field for the Students in 2012.
Against the flow, Vicic decided to sit out the entire 2012 season, spending his time training and volunteering at games for SUANFC, which would see him win the Best Clubman award due to his dedication to the club and its members.
“It was definitely a challenge not being able to play for the year, but thanks to guys like Rod Carter, I was able to stay involved with the club”.
Carter, a former South Melbourne great and Vicic’s Colts coach praised Vicic for his work ethic and outstanding character.
“Matthew is a person of high integrity who thoroughly amazed us with his willingness and loyalty to the club,” said Carter.
“Despite hardships, Matthew’s influence on others has been outstanding. He’s certainly one of those people you want around your club for years to come”.
2013 would see Vicic pull on the hoops for the first time in a competitive match, sharing his time between the Colts (2013 AFL Sydney U/18 B&F Winner) and Sydney Swans Reserves.
Just as things were looking up for the promising tall, a severe ankle injury meant Vicic would once again watch from the sidelines, playing just 4 games for the entire 2014 season.
Having lost his enjoyment for the game after a tough few years, Vicic walked away from the game in 2015.
“I just felt my passion for the game disappear. I wasn’t enjoying my footy,” said Vicic.
With support from Carter and SUANFC, Vicic decided to return to football, completing the most recent NEAFL preseason under the watchful eye of senior coach Daniel Gilmore.
“Matthew has put his head down and completed a solid amount of work since returning to training at the beginning of the preseason” said Gilmore.
“To his credit he has earned the opportunity to represent the Club’s first grade… we know that with Matthew we have a player with plenty of upside, and with a continued focus on his football, he has a bright future at this level”.
This season, Vicic has been the focal point of the Students’ Premier Division side, earning himself his first call-up for the SUANFC NEAFL side following 12 goals in 8 games for the Prems.
You can catch Matthew’s debut against the Canberra Demons and much more at the annual SUANFC Family Day this Saturday.