Sep 252020
 

Congratulations Declan Gramazio who play his 100th game for the Rangers this weekend.

Stats courtesy of the Ranger Info Centre.
Ranger #: 272
Club Debut: 2011
Games: 100
Goals: 10
Club Captain: 2018 & 2019
Club Champion: 2017
Best & Fairest: Div. 4 (2013)
Player’s Player: Div. 4 (2013)
2010 UHS Graduate

Words by fellow brother and Club President Ali Gramazio.
Like many brothers we grew up playing sport together. Dec being four years my junior and only young I used to push him around on the field, he was about 10 and I was 14. He’d already started playing indoor soccer by that point. He already knew how to shield the ball. He never gave up. Sometimes in the driving rain he would stand in goals and urge me to take shots at him. He loved soccer just as much as I did.

It took him 6 years to finally come and see what the fuss was all about at Rangers. I’d always wanted him to play for this great club. I never knew he’d go on to have the impact that he has. His early seasons were limited appearances but punctuated regularly with goals and skills to make defenders look stupid in Div 4. Back then he was just playing for fun.

After a hiatus he returned to Rangers and went from Div 2 sub, to starter, to Div 1 sub to Div 1 starter (where a certain Shaun Smith was moved out wide to accommodate Dec and Will Pasten in centre midfield). During these seasons Dec added grit and defensive work rate to his skills on the ball, tenacity and eye for a pass. He even added a few goals.

It made me very proud when he went on to captain the Div 1s. It would be one of the most difficult seasons ever experienced at Rangers. Being relegated for the first time in the clubs’ history was incredibly difficult for everyone but Dec never gave up and leadership is about losing just as much as it is about winning. The culture that we’re building here now is around players from Dec’s generation at Rangers and they are all doing the club proud. Their willingness to stick around during the hard times, to train in the driving rain or be the only person next to the BBQ sinking beers is a testament to that groups character.

In the last two seasons since then Dec has matured into a club man that I think embodies what we represent here at Rangers. Not just a willingness to play good football, to be creative and to attack. But to stand up for your teammates, to never back down from an adversary or challenge, and to never give in even when the chips are stacked against you. Off field he has become part of the social hub that makes community clubs like ours so special. The after game beer tastes good, surrounding by teammates, covered in mud, bonding over number 12 on the other team being a tosser.

Congratulations on 100 games brother. You should feel proud to be a part of this club, it’s heritage and colours. It’s a part of who you are now. A part of all of us. Good luck on your 100th game. I may not make it to the sky polo club (and beyond) but it would be just as good to see you become a club legend yourself.

Big love always,
– AG