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Crameri making AFL Debut

From the Bendigo Advertiser.

CRAMERI'S IN - Former Magpie and Bendigo Bomber to make AFL debut

12 Aug, 2010 04:00 AM
Stewart Crameri could not have received a better 22nd birthday present on Tuesday than being told he would be making his AFL debut for Essendon tomorrow night.
Crameri – the former Maryborough player and Bendigo Bomber – will play for Essendon against Collingwood at the MCG tomorrow night.

In 2006 Crameri was a member of the Bendigo Football League senior team that won the VCFL Pool C Country Championships title at Barooga.

The same year he was Maryborough’s leading goalkicker with 33.

Crameri spent the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons with the Bendigo Bombers, before being picked by Essendon with selection No.43 at last December’s rookie draft.

Being an Essendon rookie, he has continued to play with Bendigo in the VFL this year.

Given an opportunity to step into the midfield this year, Crameri put together another consistent season, which included being named Bendigo’s best in its eight-point win last Saturday at Strathfieldsaye against a Collingwood side that had 22 AFL-listed players.

“It’s going to be great for Stewart to play on Friday night,’’ Bendigo coach Shannon Grant said yesterday.

“With his improvement and development throughout the year, he has just kept getting better, so it’s a credit to him.

“It’s obviously a big stage on Friday night against Collingwood, so it will certainly be a great experience for him and one that he has thoroughly deserved.

“He has earned his spot, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how he goes.’’

The coach at Bendigo in Crameri’s first season with the Bombers in 2007 was Matthew Knights, who is now in his third year at the helm of Essendon.

“Knighter is a big wrap for Stewart and has obviously had tight connections with him and his family since he was coaching in Bendigo,’’ Grant said.

“So it’s certainly a great story, but Stewart has worked very hard to get where he has.’’

Crameri – who stands at 188cm and weights 95kg – is the fifth player to have played with the Bendigo Bombers and make it on to an AFL list, behind Nathan Lovett-Murray (Essendon), Guy Campbell (Sydney), Jarrod Atkinson (Essendon) and Hayden Skipworth (Essendon), plus there’s the pathway of Knights going from Bendigo to Essendon coach.

“It has been a fantastic effort by Stewart to get to where he has,’’ Bombers general manager Peter Lodewijks said.

“And the thing about this is he didn’t come through the TAC Cup, so if everybody thinks you’ve got to go through the TAC Cup to get drafted, well, this shows that’s not the case.’’

Crameri’s profile on the Essendon website reads: “Attacking defender who can also play in the midfield. Played some good football for the Bendigo Bombers in the VFL last year, impressing with his run and carry.’’