“THIS IS my journey.”
Orazio Fantasia concedes that not everything has gone to plan in recent times, but he feels he’s at the best possible place to make things right.
Speaking to media from IKON Park after his first training session as a Blue on Monday, Fantasia was highly complimentary of AFL Senior Coach Michael Voss as well as his new teammates in making him feel as welcome as possible.
It formed part of his discussions with Voss - who he worked with at Port Adelaide - when the wheels were in motion for Fantasia to become a Carlton player, and he witnessed that first-hand from the moment he walked through the door.
“[Voss] said the boys here are unbelievable and we have a really strong culture and building something really nice. That connection there was really strong,” Fantasia said.
“[Day one] was awesome. It’s a great environment here, the boys are so welcoming. I had a great time: the only thing was getting used to the Melbourne weather again.”
Part of the temptation for Fantasia is diving right in and exerting himself in all facets to leave the right impression.
But given where he’s come from, Fantasia is going to be eased into things from a training perspective. It’s frustrating for the new recruit, but one which he knows is all about the long-term gain.
𝑶𝒓𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒂𝒛𝒊𝒐. pic.twitter.com/epTTCG2gxF— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) November 28, 2023
“It’s hard as a player coming into a new club, where you want to do everything and show your teammates you’re not here to waste time and muck around,” he said.
“It’s a personal thing where you want to be out there all the time, but the coaches and high-performance team have been super supportive and understanding that I just need to build and hopefully be good to go.”
He’s spent more times on the sidelines recently than he would’ve liked, and he’s not denying that in the slightest.
But he’s keen to turn it around as quickly as possible. A modified program until Christmas is in the offing - in an attempt to, in Fantasia’s words, “bulletproof” him - before he eyes hitting the ground running in January.
“It’s been frustrating, definitely, but I feel like I’ve got a lot of footy ahead of me if I can get this important part right,” he said.
“Everyone’s journey is different. I would’ve love to have played 200 in a row like guys I was drafted with, but this is my journey. I’ve learned a lot about myself since I’ve been injured and what sort of person I am.
“With the support of guys like ‘Vossy’ now, you’re in a great mindset to hit the ground running and keep going.”