MERBEIN Football Netball Club have revealed their newest recruit and who they hope is the missing link to premiership success for the upcoming season.

Sammy Gazzo, 35, is more at home on the basketball court, but shouldn’t be taken lightly on the football field either.

Gazzo moved from Melbourne to Mildura in November last year to be closer to family and so he and his wife, Estee, can raise their three boys with a better lifestyle.

It was during his second week here that he attended a golf tournament and was introduced to members of the Merbein Cobras Basketball Club. With his background in basketball, the club were quick to request his services and from there, he was linked in with the football group.

Gazzo played football until he was 18 and then decided to pursue basketball.

He played College basketball in the States and then back in Australia, he was a part of the Adelaide 36ers squad in the National Basketball League and later narrowly missed out on the last spot in the Gold Coast Blaze side, also a part of the NBL.

More recently, Gazzo played in the South East Australian Basketball League for the Brisbane Spartans and was one of their starting five, alongside four NBL players.

But now Gazzo has given away playing basketball at a high level, and his focus is on coaching and giving back to the sport.

With the change comes more time to do other things – including getting back out on the football field.

After a couple of seasons at the Hillside Sharks in the Essendon District Football League, Gazzo’s philosophy that he needs to go where he is needed has landed him at the Magpies.

And he said, once he gets his legs working again, he’ll go where is needed and play the role the club requires him to out on the field.

He’s a big body, and is clearly switched on when it comes to sport, so there is no doubt the Magpies will benefit greatly from having Gazzo pull on the black and white this season.

– ZOEY ANDREWS