Morningside forward Joshua Mazoletti is the Round 7 QAFL Rising Star nominee, after his standout performance against Palm Beach Currumbin.
A consistent start to the season following his debut in round one has seen Mazoletti move from fringe player, to rising star.
The emerging talent has spent four of the seven rounds in Panther’s best six, cementing his spot as a ‘zippy’ forward who transitions into the midfield.
A product of the Carindale Cougars and Morningside’s junior program, Mazoletti has moved from strength to strength in an impressive breakout season.
“Getting my debut was a bit of a surprise, I don’t think anyone was a shocked as I was when ‘Lakey’ [David Lake] called out my name,” said Mazoletti.
“Last year I played in the reserves, and it was pretty hard to get a gig with blokes like Paul Shenton running around.
“I would have loved a crack last year, but I think I’m more prepared and I’m learning heaps from [teammate] Lachy Russ.”
Mazoletti spent most of his junior football playing through the midfield, but has been brought into the senior side with an emphasis on hard running and forward line pressure.
“I have a 50/50 rotation, but I usually start forward and move through the midfield,” said Mazoletti.
“My role is all about forward pressure and tackling, just working my arse off keeping the ball in the forward 50.”
The Panthers run of 25 wins in a row may have ended two weeks ago at the hands of Labrador, but the Morningside outfit pulled together to win against Palm Beach Currumbin.
Mazoletti believed that while the loss certainly stung, it may have been a blessing in disguise.
“The loss was bound to happen, but it probably brought the group closer together and there were certainly a lot of positives to take from it,” said Mazoletti.
“It’s brought us down to earth and we can’t wait to play Labrador later in the season.”
His footballing journey began like many others, through his school’s Auskick program which led Josh to join local club, the “mighty” Carindale Cougars.
The move to youth football saw Mazoletti at a crossroads, with the youngster eventually deciding to join his father’s old club, Morningside.
“My old man used to play for the Panthers back in the day, and in the end it just seemed like a good decision,” said Mazoletti.
That decision has paid dividends, as the young forward has played all seven games in the seniors, and has no intentions of taking a backwards step.
By Byron Parish