The former Northern Knight and Essendon VFL young gun managed 31 disposals one goal, and nine tackles in his first senior game as a Lion, and was happy with how he played.
“I tried to play my role which the coaches’ gave me, and I think I did that alright,” el Moussalli said.
“I pride myself in going hard for the ball, and was fortunate to translate this on the ground.”
“My aim is to continue and help the club win its’ first game this year; I feel we are so close after a few close losses.”
Only appearing in four senior VFL games for Essendon last year, ‘Elmo’ as he is sometimes known, knew he had to work hard in Coburg’s Development Side for a chance at senior selection; and so he did.
Standing at 191cm tall, the 20-year old is best suited to an inside-midfielder, but holds versatility that can see him play roles at either end of the ground.
And since beginning at the club this season, El Moussalli has listened to what the coaching staff have had to say in order to help himself improve.
“I had worked hard in the Development Team, taking on board the coaches’ advice and was pleased to be rewarded after playing consistent football,” he said.
“I felt honoured that the club had the confidence and faith for give me the opportunity to play senior football.”
“I was also very excited and proud to have been presented playing jumper by club legend Brad Nimmo.” he continued.
Maintaining consistency as a player is a key factor el Moussalli believes will help secure his Senior spot, but also hopes to “improve his strengths and reduce his weaknesses”.
“(This season) I am focussing on attacking the ball and improving as an inside midfielder,” he said.
“I am also focussing on my defensive game which the coaches have assisted me with, and more importantly I am focussing on being a consistent player for the club.”
Head Senior Coach Peter German commended el Moussalli on his performance on Saturday afternoon, despite the loss to Port Melbourne.
“His first game showed his growth in our Development League side has groomed him well for Senior football: 31 possessions, 9 tackles, 7 clearances and 1 goal was a great debut.” German said.
Coburg General Manager Sebastian Spagnuolo was also pleased to have el Moussalli join the club this year, and was happy to see him debut this weekend.
“James joined our club in search of more senior opportunities, and we believed that he would thrive in our environment,” the GM said.
“He saw Coburg as the club that can develop his game further, and we were excited by the flexibility he offers us.”
As part of his role as a Multicultural Community Ambassador, el Moussalli also attends and assists promoting multicultural football carnivals and events; something he takes very seriously and with pride.
“This is a role AFL Victoria has given me, which I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to promote the game of AFL,” he said.
“Both my parents were born overseas and obviously the game is growing with different nationalities and cultures.”
“It’s a role that I hope will bring football to various cultures in the community.”
Congratulations to James el Moussalli on making his Senior VFL debut for Coburg, and for being named Lion of the Round this week.
Hear the Lions Roar!
In the Development League, Head Coach Paul ‘PK’ Kennedy named Mitch Conn as Development Lion of the Round for his defensive work in Saturday’s one-point victory over Port Melbourne.
This article is sponsored by the Post Office Hotel, 229 – 231 Sydney Rd, Coburg. For more information please head to http://www.thepostofficehotel.com.au/
Image courtesy of Emily Fraser-Ison Photography.