By Nicholas Galea
Damaging defender Jesse Corigliano will return to Piranha Park for another season after penning an extension to remain with the Coburg Football Club until the end of the 2022 VFL season.
Already our longest serving player on our list, 2022 will be Jesse’s 8th season as a Lion and with now 62 VFL games played in his career, the 25 year old said he couldn’t see himself playing anywhere else in the future
‘For me I think it’s pretty evident – maybe not in win-loss record – but that we’re headed in the right direction,’ Corigliano said. ‘It’s really exciting with some of the talent that we’ve got through the door and it’s been spoken about a lot, but as well as the talent we have its the culture we’ve got… It’s just really an enjoyable place to be around at the moment.’
‘To be honest I’ve got such good friends at the footy club, it’d be so, so hard to play anywhere else so I don’t have any reason to go elsewhere and I’m just really excited about the future.’
After the Club was only able to play 10 games during a COVID affected 2021 VFL Season, Corigliano is optimistic that although there were some close defeats during the season, that better times are coming for Coburg and that the lessons the playing group learnt on and off the field throughout the year will bode well for 2022 and beyond.
‘Normally we’d walk away from games like that not feeling as disappointed like in previous years… It was more like “good effort, you know, we were close”,’ he said. ‘Now its “we should have won those games” and we’re super disappointed because we really have the belief that we’re that we’re good enough to win those games.’
‘In terms of a step forward [next year], I think it’ll come with playing time as a lot of the guys that played together this year haven’t played that much footy as a group… It’s been two years as a group but we’ve played 10 games in that time,’ he said. ‘We haven’t played much together but we certainly learned a lot from them [those close defeats], and they’ll turn into wins as we play more games together, which is exciting going forward.’
Having seen the ups and downs of football throughout his eight-year VFL career, Corigliano has no doubt noticed a shift in mentality and expectations within the playing group, highlighting Senior Men’s Coach Andrew Sturgess as one of the major reasons that the football club has created a family-like culture and become a place where people want to be.
‘I would give 90% of the credit to “Sturg”, he’s come in and the things he’s done such as emphasising the connection not just between the players but the staff, volunteers and board as well is extremely important,’ he said. ‘The culture is good and we’re headed in the right direction so it’s just been really nice to see that transition over the years.’
Corigliano too has played his part building this culture after being named Vice-Captain of the Club over the past three years, stating that he wants to see Coburg in a better place than when he joined it.
‘To feel like I’ve played a small part in making Coburg a better place for people coming and young players and whoever comes in the future is probably the highlight for me,’ he said. ‘As well as that the friendships [that have been created] and guys I play with now I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life so that’s been really nice too.’
Corgliano is hopeful that there will be a full allotment of games being completed for the 2022 VFL Season but it is the opportunity for people to once again be involved and attend games which excites him the most.
‘I’m just so excited to hopefully play more footy, have less interruptions and spend more time together,’ he said. ‘I think a really big one for me is having my family involved and I’m sure I can say the same for other guys and sponsors and members.’
‘Hopefully we can get some on field success as we get better and play more games together but I’m so excited to play more footy and to spend more time with Coburg people, whether that’s after games or at functions.’
‘Hopefully everyone can sign on for next year because I think we’re in a really good place at the club, where we’re led by a great coach in “Sturg” and “Seb” does an awesome job in his role.’
‘It’s really exciting for the future and I’m looking forward to seeing more Coburg people at games and functions going into next year.’
Stay tuned for more player re-signings by following the Coburg Football Club’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.