Zucco brothers rise from backyard to Wolves ranks

Ben Zucco (left) with older brother Ricky. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Ben Zucco (left) with older brother Ricky. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

NSW NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE

When Ben Zucco broke into the Wolves' starting line-up in 2014, no-one was prouder than his older brother Ricky.

The Farmborough Heights siblings, fierce backyard rivals, have rarely had the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream of playing side by side.

So when Ben, 19, joined Ricky, 23, at the South Coast this season it was naturally at the top of their agenda.

"You want to take the field with your brother in any form or level," Ricky said.

"For us two, we are fortunate to play in the highest league in the Illawarra, alongside each other.

"It is a dream come true."

It took until round nine against St George for that dream to be realised under new coach Nahuel Arrarte. Ben came off the bench and South Coast won the match 2-0.

"Getting the call-up to sit on the bench was nerve-racking, but getting the last-minute word to say you are starting is even more nerve-racking," Ben said.

"Playing in the highest team you can play in in the Illawarra, with your brother, and then bagging a goal, it is just every boy's dream."

Since then Ben has become a regular feature in the first-grade squad during the Wolves' heavy schedule, which included sealing an FFA Cup spot.

His rise has coincided with the emergence of former Bulli product Jordan Murray.

"It is good knowing the boys in the Illawarra Premier League, myself and Jordan coming through, get the chance to play not only in youth grade but in first grade," Ben said.

"We are kind of both taking it with both hands and working as hard as we can to try and secure a spot there."

The South Coast have now gone undefeated in their past six matches.

But on Sunday the club will face their sternest test since they turned the corner two months ago.

The Wolves play a rematch with the same Blacktown City side who defeated them 5-0 in the season opener.

"I think Blacktown will find they have come into the game facing a completely different Wolves side," Ricky said.

"It hurts knowing what the result was 10 to 12 weeks ago, but we have got something to prove at the moment and we have that winning mentality going through the first team.

"If we work hard and follow key instructions the coaches give us, I think we should give it a pretty good fight."

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