Garuccio thankful for Derby opportunity

Melbourne Heart FC teenager Benjamin Garuccio says playing in his first Melbourne Derby on Saturday night was an “unbelievable” experience.

Melbourne Heart FC teenager Benjamin Garuccio says playing in his first Melbourne Derby on Saturday night was an “unbelievable” experience after the Club ran out 4-0 winners at AAMI Park.

It was not only the left footer-s first ever Derby, but also his first starting appearance this Hyundai A-League season after making five previous contributions off the bench.

Garuccio is better known for being a left-sided attacking player, but in the absence of regular left-back Aziz Behich - who missed the match through suspension, the Young Socceroo was shifted into the defence by Head Coach John van-t Schip.

“I-ve done a little bit in the national team [playing at left back],” Garuccio said.

“I thought it would be a good challenge.

“When John said 'are you confident to play there', I thought I-ll try it, I-ll grab it with both hands.

“We [Young Socceroos] just had a few friendly-s against European sides and I played there against Germany for a little bit and the last couple of camps with the [under-20-s] I have played there.

“Wherever the coach puts me, I-ll always give my best effort, I always sort of said I hope I-m not one of those wingers that turns into a full back, but here I am, I played there on the weekend and I enjoyed myself."

Garuccio was unable to break into the side in the early part of this season but got a chance off the bench in Melbourne Heart-s first win against Newcastle Jets.

“I was just trying to play in the [National] Youth League and do as well as I could and eventually I knew if I kept doing well I thought I-d get my opportunity and I have,” Garuccio said.

“A lot of it [not playing] was to do with consistency and that was true. I think I-d have one good game and then one or maybe two bad games.

“When you-re going to step into the first team you-ve really got to deliver every week, you can-t have a bad week.

“Now that I have played a few games in a row… it becomes a lot easier and you get a bit more confidence and the boys are always so willing to help you.

“Confidence is a big thing in football and once we got that first win the boys started to believe again.”

That belief continues to grow within the Melbourne Heart squad on the back of five wins in a row, totaling six for 2014 with only one loss and two draws.

According to Garuccio, this puts his team in a strong position heading to face an dangerous Newcastle Jets this weekend at Hunter Stadium, but he says the club is still well aware of how easily their grip on success can slip.

“At the moment we-re just really looking at it game by game; we have got Newcastle this week - they had a great result last week so its going to be a tough game over there,” Garuccio said.

“The wins have trickled on at its been good for us… but then again we have a big game this week and if we don-t win it will be back to square one so we need to keep working hard.

“As JvS always says, we just need to keep improving our own game and the football that we play and I am sure the results will come.”