IT may be well known in this town that ‘gratzie’ is an Italian expression for gratitude.
Ingham can be grateful to Grazioli brothers Haydn (24) and Jonte (19) for helping our young gun premier league side to their first victory of the season – as they beat Rebels 1-nil at Augie Pane Field.
Jonte raced onto an Aiden Reinuado through ball on 15 minutes to slot the home side ahead before his brother performed heroics at the other end, doing a great impression of a brick wall to keep a clean sheet in goal.
But it was not just those two.
Our boys were outstanding from front to back, with every player working their socks off to help grind out a confidence-boosting win in our fifth game of the season.
Coach Bruno Casale said: ‘I was really pleased with the clean sheet.
‘We’re the youngest side in the league. We’ve got two 17-year-olds playing for us and this week we brought in 16-year-old Kolby Quabba.
‘We played a hell of a lot better last week when we let in three ordinary goals [in a 3-1 loss to Warriors]. But this game we were outstanding in defence. We didn’t give them many chances.
‘Haydn Grazioli kept us in the game with a couple of really good saves.
‘We played on the counter attack and our goal was from a training-ground routine where we bounce the ball from the wing to midfield and then through their centre-backs for our forward to run onto.
‘It was great to see it come off. We’ve got a lot of pace and we’re causing teams problems’.
Quabba was called up for his second premier league match after scoring direct from a corner for the youth team last week and looked impressive on the wing.
He almost doubled Ingham’s lead but was denied by a good save after being put through one-on-one.
‘Kolby’s a great little player,’ added the coach. ‘We have got talent here.
‘We’re rebuilding really as we’ve got a new team from last year.
‘But we have been competitive in every match’.
Rebels have a proud history and are an immense local club in the Townsville league, though they are struggling and without a win this season.
‘They’ve got a high performing coach there,’ said Casale.
‘They will see this rough patch out.
‘They always bounce back that club’.
Rebels’ crest mirrors that of Arsenal, the side who made 1-nil victories an art in the late eighties and early nineties under George Graham, winning two league titles.
But it was Ingham who showed that doggedness as they scrapped for every ball and secured their first win – and a first clean sheet of the season.
A few more of these results and it may start a new chant – 1-nil to the Ingham boys.
Ingham FC face Wulguru in Townsville next Saturday.
Gratzie a squadra – thanks be to the squad.