WHEN you think of famous football families, few are as revered as the Silvagnis.
Through the generations, the Silvagni clan have combined for 594 AFL games, with both Sergio and his son Stephen featuring in the Carlton’s Team of the Century.
Now another Silvagni is set to join the AFL ranks, with 18-year-old Ben eligible to join Carlton as a father-son prospect in this month’s draft.
The problem with being a Silvagni, though, is that so many opponents know who you are and the football pedigree you come from.
Ben says he isn’t sick of the scrutiny that comes with his family name. But he’s certainly copped his fair share of feedback on the field during his junior footy days.
“The only thing I get is sledges out on the field because people who know my surname. That will come with every game I play so I’ve got to get use to it,” he said,” Silvagni told foxfooty.com.au.
“You’re living in your Dads shadow’- that’s one (I’ve copped). I copped ‘how is your skin so tanned if you’re living in your Dads shadow?’ — that was probably the best one. ‘You’re worse than your brother’ — that’s another one I copped.
“I have to laugh at them. At the end of the day, I’m in a pretty good position. I just take it on board, it’s fine.”
The son of current Blues list manager Stephen — and nicknamed ‘BSOS’ — Ben wants to continue his family’s navy legacy and play alongside brother Jack for the first time in his lifetime.
“Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to play for Carlton,” Silvagni said.
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“And (also play) with Jack, so if a dream could become a reality it would mean the world. The fact it could become a reality in a month or so, it’s a good feeling and something I look forward to hopefully happening.”
Silvagni was locked into the Blues since his birth.
The possible 2018 draftee joked that if he was to walk into his house and tell the family he was supporting another club, he would have to find “another house to eat at”.
And while Ben was only a one-year-old when his father Stephen finished his career in the navy blue, he has grown to understand the impact the Silvagni name has had on Carlton.
“I probably didn’t know the impact that Dad or even Jack has had on the Carlton supporters (until now),” he explained.
“They (Carlton supporters) started noticing me. Being related to them is pretty special, but it’s also weird at the same time — I’m 18, I’m at school and haven’t really done anything at this stage.”
Away from football, Silvagni enjoys sitting back watching movies and playing PlayStation like many other teenagers. He likes playing basketball in his downtime, with the 194cm tall a LA Lakers NBA fan.
He is also eyeing off a Commerce or Business degree when he finishes school.
But on the field, 2018 hasn’t been all smooth-sailing, with a serious thumb injury ending his season soon after the Under 18 Championships.
And he blames Hawthorn premiership player Campbell Brown for the injury after a Vic Metro training accident with Brown while he was helping out the team as a backline coach.
“He’s no stranger to injuring people,” Silvagni said of Brown.
“In a marking contest, he slipped over and brought my arm with me and I reckon on a two-degree night the ball hit it and next thing I know, I’ve got a chipped bone and stretched ligaments.
“It was actually pretty painful, I missed the Vic Metro and Vic Country game, but was able to get back for the South Australian game and the last school football game against Brighton Grammar. I did it again, so have been out for nine or so weeks.
“I think he just wanted to show me he still had it in a one-on-one contest.
“I actually had him covered in the marking contest, he would’ve given away a free kick. But it was funny because he slipped over and everyone was laughing at him and then they looked over and I was actually hurt.”
But rest assured Carlton fans, should Silvagni’s name be called out on draft night — he will be ready to go from day 1 of pre-season.