Chisari steps up to captaincy at Bendigo Pioneers

ACTIONS more so than words will be the way Jacob Chisari tackles captaincy of the Bendigo Pioneers in this year’s AFL Victoria TAC Cup under-18s competition.

Chisari marked his first match as the club’s on-field leader with a seven-goal victory in the Easter Saturday match against North Ballarat Rebels.

Not long after they had sung “We Are The Pioneers” for the first time in many months, Chisari and his team-mates switches their focus to  tomorrow’s battle with the Murray Bushrangers at Shepparton’s Deakin Reserve.

“We gained a lot of confidence from the win against North Ballarat, but now the challenge is to keep on improving, keep working and aim for another win,” Chisari said yesterday.

The Pioneers club champion in his first year of TAC Cup action, Chisari said captaincy, which was voted on by the players, was a great challenge.

The club’s leadership group is Jordan Hargreaves, Sam Heavyside, Jaden McGrath and Jake Maher.

Chisari captained South Mildura’s under-14s, and learnt plenty from playing senior footy with the Sunraysia FL club as a 15-year-old and then from last season’s play with the Bendigo Pioneers.

“As captain, it’s important to lead by example, whether that’s in matches, training, or at recovery. It’s not just what I do, but the other leaders we have at the club,” he said.

Chisari being prepared to take a risk played a big part in the first-round win.

“It’s important not to always play safe and kick down the line and to a contest.

“We worked really hard at winning as many contests as we could and getting the ball into space.

“It’s what we need to do in every match we play.”

Although his pre-season was delayed by a foot injury, which included four weeks rest and then another month restricted to cycling and swimming, Chisari won many possessions in game one.

His play at stoppages was superb, but it’s capitalising on chances in attack which have become a goal set by coach David Newett.

A year 12 VCE student, Chisari’s week includes three on-field training sessions, weights on Tuesday and Thursday in the college gym, and Sunday’s recovery from matches. 

His biggest supporters, parents Frank and Wendy are at most Pioneers under-18 games, and Jacob’s younger brother Matthew is in this year’s Pioneers under-16 squad.  


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