As part of the Sandringham Dragons 30 year celebration, Nathan Sepe and Dylan Bolch interviewed various personnel that have been involved with the Dragons since the inception of the club. These are their stories.
By Nathan Sepe
One of the 2016 Premiership players, Tim Taranto left an impact during his time at the Sandringham Dragons.
In 2016, Taranto was drafted to the GWS Giants at Pick 2 and has since gone on to play 98 games since then, including the 2019 AFL Grand Final.
Dragons Media interviewed Taranto about his story at the Dragons and the memories he has from his time at TAC Cup level.
When did you first get involved in the program?
It started in Under 14’s at the Dragons just doing Interleague stuff. I went into the dragons and was playing at Mordi Brae (Mordialloc Braeside – SMJFL) at the time. Getting invited up was pretty cool, I can't remember if I was in the one’s or two’s in Under 14’s and then played Under 16’s and then into Under 18’s, TAC Cup for a couple years.
Who were key personnel who helped your development?
Jacko (Jackson Kornberg) was massive for me. He was kind of someone I latched onto and worked with one on one, a lot pre-training and after training. We'd often do a lot of skills sessions before training started pretty much every week. He was a bit of a Guinea pig for me. He would just chase my kicks and get them back to me. So that was really nice with him. Then we'd watch vision together after training and go over my games.
What was the lead up to the 2016 Finals like for you?
We were very close because we played representative footy kind of all the way through, from Under 13’s and 14’s. We were all pretty good mates and knew each other pretty well, which I guess was a big advantage for us. We knew we had a pretty good list and we went well during the regular season. Once we got all the APS footy blokes back towards the end of the season, we knew we were a sniff to maybe do some damage
What are your memories from the 2016 Premiership?
We played that first final against Eastern, and just scraped by because they had a pretty good team as well. We then played the Stingrays and we pumped them and played Falcons in the Prelim. Again, absolutely smashed most of the game. We got through and then played Murray in the Grand Final at Etihad and got the win. It was a pretty unreal final series. Some of the best memories I've had playing footy, definitely throughout that.
Any teammates you grew close with at the Dragons?
Oli Florent’s one of my best mates still. We catch up in Sydney all the time and I still speak to each of the boys on that team. Andy McGrath, I check in with him every now and then. Corey Lyons and I were good friends for a period of time there and the Brayshaw brother were there so we hung out a fair bit. Jack Scrimshaw was also a really close friend of mine along with Will Setterfield and we got drafted together to the Giants.
Any vivid memories from your time at the Dragons?
I think Under 16, I just remember that preseason. That was kind of like the first proper preseason I'd done with the dragons or ever actually I just remember how hard it was. I remember we were at Parkdale Secondary College and just doing like 1km after 1km after 1km, I swear. They were actually hard, harder than preseason training sessions that I'm doing now. That's a pretty strong memory.