Tiwi Bombers player Ross Tungatalum has made a huge impression for Victorian club the Wodonga Raiders in the Ovens and Murray Football League

Former Sydney Swans hero Daryn Cresswell has nothing but high praise for Ross Tungatalum

So much so, his coach Daryn Cresswell has described him as one of the best players outside of the AFL system.

Cresswell, who played 244 AFL matches for Sydney Swans between 1992-2003, even likened the exciting small forward to former teammate Michael O’Loughlin.

The Swans’ team of the century member said there was “no question” he’s worthy of a second chance at the top level after a season on St Kilda’s rookie-list back in 2011.

“He was very young then and I think he understands the culture of Melbourne footy a bit better now,” Cresswell said.

“He’s obviously got a couple of young kids in Tiwi but he’s adapting to Melbourne more.

“There’s no question in my mind that he’s got the ability to play AFL footy.

“His skill level and ability to turn a game on its head is incredible.

“I was fortunate enough to play with Micky O’Loughlin and Rocco reminds me of a smaller version of him, he’s just got that ability to pull a rabbit out of the hat.”

After returning to the Territory for a short break, the man they call “Rocco” has set the Ovens and Murray alight in the past month.

His last four outings have results in 24 majors including two bags of eight.

But it was his final quarter against Yarrawonga Pigeons, coached by former Carlton and Brisbane forward Brendon Fevola, which has really got the league talking.

“We were down by 41 points at the 12-minute mark of the last quarter against Yarra… we were dead and buried,” Cresswell said.

“Rocco kicked four in the last 10 minutes and we won by four points.”

A two-time NTFL premiership player who also won a flag with NT Thunder in 2011, Tungatalum looks set to play finals footy again this year with the ever-improving Raiders sitting third on the ladder in Cresswell’s first season as coach.

The relationship between the Raiders and NTFL side Tiwi Bombers is set to become even stronger this week with another excitement machine, Dion Munkara, arriving at the club on Friday.

Cresswell also revealed and a number of his best players were keen to play for Tiwi during their off-season.

“I’ve spoken with (Bombers coach) Willie Rioli Snr this year and a few of my boys at the Raiders are keen to go up there,” he said.

“(former Gold Coast Suns-listed) Todd Grayson, (captain) Jack Di Mizio and (gun midfielder) Steven Jolliffe are three that are keen to go up and play with Rocco, and they’re three of our best players.

“Hopefully it’s the start of a really healthy relationship.”

 

Article courtesy of the Border Mail

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