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Fantasia's hopes further afield

BTV: The Crichton Panel | Orazio Fantasia Orazio Fantasia dropped by The Crichton Panel to chat with Julian de Stoop & Scott Lucas.

Orazio Fantasia is hoping to spend more time in the midfield in 2018, but wants the forward half to remain his primary place of residence.

The 22 year old finished eighth in the Crichton Medal and was named the Club’s most improved player after kicking 39 goals from his 20 games in 2017. 

Earlier in his career, Fantasia showed he could be a significant ball winner in the midfield.

He averaged 25 disposals per game and kicked three goals during his opening four games of 2016 when he was used on the wing.

Fantasia is hoping to increase his midfield minutes next season, while also remaining a threat in attack.

“I always tried to model my game a little bit like Robbie Gray – he can go into the midfield and impact a game and help the team score, but then also go forward and score himself,” he told The Crichton Panel.

“If I can play a little bit like him – whether that’s maybe 10 or 15 per cent more time in the midfield, I’ll see what I can do up there, bring my speed and hopefully break some lines.

“He’s (Gray) always been a player I’ve watched a lot … Toby Greene of late, Eddie (Betts) and a little bit of Mark LeCras as well – they’re the type of guys I’ve looked at and tried to emulate a little bit.”

Fantasia kicked three goals or more on seven occasions this season and finished 21st on the competition’s goal kicking tally, with only a handful of small forwards placed ahead of him.

He credits some of his improvement to working alongside retired teammate and now Performance Coach, James Kelly.

“‘Kel’ was here for a short time but the way he’s carried himself and helped us younger guys get better (has stood out),” Fantasia said.

“I played on him in one of my first games against Geelong … I think I had three touches the whole game and he taught me how to play.

“To get him to the Club and for him to teach me how to play on the best defenders in the competition has definitely helped me a lot.”

To watch Orazio Fantasia in action in 2018, sign up for an Essendon membership.