Ietto eyes season’s return

Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Harvey athlete Jonathon Ietto attempts to clear a clean handball while playing for Peel Thunder.
Camera IconHarvey athlete Jonathon Ietto attempts to clear a clean handball while playing for Peel Thunder. Credit: supplied/supplied

Jonathon Ietto might be Peel Thunder’s best prepared player after the season hiatus. He has set up his own home gym on his country farm and said the whole COVID-19 debacle would not stop him from training.

The Harvey footballer plays in the midfield and is hoping to maintain his fitness while the season is on ice. He has been given a strict training regime from the WAFL to not fall behind.

Ietto is a sound utility player who can perform well under pressure in the midfield and double as a small forward when needed. He is also renowned for his clean groundwork and lightning speed.

The young kid from the country mimics the work ethic of Richmond’s premiership midfielder Dion Prestia, with both unafraid to put in the hard yards.

Ietto said he was “devastated” by the shock season suspension, however, he also said it was important to put everything into perspective.

“Coming out of preseason and hearing the news was a bit of a blow,” Ietto said.

“But it puts everything into perspective because these things are bigger than footy.”

Ietto said it was important to keep up his fitness levels and train solo to not fall behind.

“At the end of the day, you are trying to make yourself a better footballer, in the hope of also becoming a better version of yourself too.

“It is so important to stay fit and healthy, especially with the current circumstances.”

Ietto has been climbing through the ranks and said making the AFL was always his dream.

“I train as hard as possible in an attempt to impress recruiters,” he said.

Although, Ietto admitted being small hurt his chances of making the big league. “In some ways you get overlooked by recruiters because of your height, but that makes me more determined to make it one day.”

Ietto said he was keen to break the stereotypes surrounding height advantages in the game — swearing that small blokes like himself can still pack a punch on the field.

“I will prove my doubters wrong,” he said.

When he is not training rigorously, Ietto works on his family’s farm in Harvey. He said he loved the country and cherished the simple lifestyle. He has plans to move to Perth next year to study health and PE teaching at university.

“Harvey is where I grew up and it is where I believe I will come back to one day,” he said.

Ietto said he was missing footy and being surrounded by his mates at the Peel Thunder Football Club.

Ietto’s AFL ambition may have to be put on hold for now, however, as COVID-19 tears its way through the country — dismantling any hope of footy in the immediate future.

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