Orazio Fantasia’s breakout game against the Giants shows he’s poised for big things

Orazio fantasia 1A commentator’s dream, soon to be a defender’s worst nightmare — at least if his four-goal performance against the Giants is anything to go by.

The 20-year-old has been building all season, but undoubtedly had his breakout match on Sunday evening with a spellbinding performance that was only belied by his own inaccuracy.

Unfortunately, only 14,463 fans were there to witness his theatrics at Etihad Stadium.

Since debuting in 2014, Fantasia has shown glimpses of brilliance — he was nominated for the Rising Star after racking up 27 disposals in the club’s three-point win over Collingwood in Round 23 last year — but he has come into his own this year.

Not only is he averaging a career-high 16.7 disposals per game, but a career-high six contested possessions per game, 1.2 goals per game and 4.3 score involvements a game.

Against the Giants, he only gathered 12 disposals, but was potent in the forward 50, booting four goals and having his hand in several more.

His first goal came late in the first term, a regulation set shot Joe Daniher had failed to kick only minutes earlier. It was pedestrian for Fantasia, but evened the scores at 13 all.

But what came next couldn’t have been more remarkable. In the dying stages of the first term, Adam Cooney kicked a penetrating ball deep into Essendon’s forward 50. Fantasia impacted the contest and brought the ball to ground against Joel Patfull, who at 190cm, stands 13 centimetres taller than the small forward.

Fantasia then hunted the ball, tackling Phil Davis — who could have very nearly being pinged for holding the ball — to some how end up with the footy and dribble it through for his second goal in as many minutes.

Yet he wasn’t finished there.

With his only handball for the game, Fantasia leapt on an uncharacteristically errant Davis kick in, intercepting the ball, before giving it off to Mark Jamar for the easiest of goals in the second term.

Fantasia almost set up Mitch Brown for his own goal — it his the post — when he outmanoeuvred Nick Haynes to mark on the wing, before sprinting and kicking into an open forward line.

By half time, Fantasia had kicked three goals, prompting commentator Sandy Roberts to declare: “The man of the moment, Orazio Fantasia, is having an absolute field day in front of goal.”

While the field day was cut short — in part due to a big head clash in the third term that saw Fantasia benched for 20 minutes to complete the concussion test — Fantasia was praised by coach John Worsfold for his efforts.

“Fantasia’s contests and his ability to hit the scoreboard early, all those things, were wonderful,” he said after the match.

“It’s pretty exciting for a small forward to have that many shots in a half. He’s been threatening. In past games where we’ve only gone forward thirty odd times, he’s been getting two or three shots at goal.

“With Joe Daniher as well, those guys have been holding up with very limited supply.”

That supply will be overwhelming by comparison next season, with up to 12 suspended players set to return to the club once their WADA suspensions are over.

Remember the name.

Orazio. Fantasia.