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Player profile – Sam Modderno, Taree Wildcats

Sam Modderno wants to turn Taree Wildcats into a team that wins again.

He won the National Premier League with Broadmeadow Magic last season before he headed to Sydney briefly in an attempt to chase an A-League dream.

Like many players from regional areas before him, the transition to city life didn’t work out and he returned to his junior club for the 2021 Coastal Premier League season.

“I’m trying to show them how it was in Newcastle and Sydney and how you have to always train at 100 percent,” he said.

“If you want to perform on the weekend, you can’t not train and expect to play unreal of a weekend,” he said.

“I’m trying to help give the club the idea of what it’s like to be a winning team and win the comp.”

While his Sydney sojourn didn’t work out, Modderno admitted the CPL had surprised him with the quality of football played.

“I genuinely believe it’s a good league and I’m not bringing down my football ability by coming back,” he said.

“I’ve still got to play like I’m trying to go pro and play well, especially in this league.”

The 19-year-old has already provided a few highlights for the Taree side in an otherwise challenging season.

He scored a hat-trick in last weekend’s drought-breaking 4-2 win over Coffs Coast Tigers.

“It was amazing … it was great to score the three goals and help get our first win because it’s been a difficult season so far but we’re looking up,” Modderno said.

The attacking midfielder hopes it will provide the side with a much-needed confidence boost as they attempt to climb off the bottom of the ladder.

“We’re a young team and with that one win we’re all looking up and hopefully in the second half of the competition we can get off the bottom,” he said.

“That’s our goal for next year so hopefully we can finish the season strongly and go into next season with higher goals as well.”

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