Glen Innes to feature in Italian crime procedural

Luca Tramontin has played professional league, AFL, Ice Hockey, and has coached soccer team FC Lugano. He is missing two fingers on his right hand due to a childhood deformity.

Luca Tramontin has played professional league, AFL, Ice Hockey, and has coached soccer team FC Lugano. He is missing two fingers on his right hand due to a childhood deformity.

An Italian TV sports personality is producing a crime procedural drama that will feature Glen Innes.

Called 'Sport Crime' the show's first season was recently aired at the Cannes Mip Festival and is expected to be internationally distributed before the end of the year. Glen Innes will feature in the second or third season.

Producer Luca Tramontin, who played professional-grade football throughout Europe before becoming a writer and commentator for Swiss national TV, Eurosport International, Sportitalia and more recently SBS Radio, spent the 1989 off-season playing in the New England Rugby Union Cup for Glen Innes.

He said his time in sport-mad Australia opened his eyes to the range of alternatives to traditional European footy.

Tramontin with Mick Faulks in the 80s.

Tramontin with Mick Faulks in the 80s.

"When Eurosport, Sportitalia and other European national TVs opened up to those sports I was the only one in the know, so thanks Glen Innes," he said.

The big second rower - he is over 2 metres tall and weighed 105kgs in those days - came over to improve his "very poor" ball skills for the '89 season.

"Great days. I struggled with the pace, but the league club made welcome at training; that helped me a lot once back in Italy."

Then coach and later Glen Innes mayor Col Price remembers the Italian giant as a "bit of a sleepy player on the field" who was "terribly serious" about the sport and never drank with the side after a match.

"He'd have to go home and sit down and think about how he would improve his playing," said his coach thirty years later.

It was the last time the Elks won the first grade premiership and in those days Glen Innes was able to attract international players on their off season. Tramontin was on the bench and Glen Innes were taking on St Albert's college, whose side was bolstered by Wallaby Damian Smith.

"Smith started a blue on the field when they started to lose.

"Luca made a grand entrance off the bench in his tracksuit, threw a few random punches - but we were ale to sit him down again."

Col also remembers Mr Tramontin being selected to play for Italy B.

"The fact that he was selected in the team he summised because they sent him a postal pack; a container of pills with no explanation of what the pills were for or what they were."

He played with locals like Chris Perceval, Captain Doug Stevenson, "Bluey" Brad Newsome Mick "The Leicester Pom" Faulks and skipper Peter Alt. Tramontin said he felt very welcomed by the tight-knit team.

"The running joke was that I had to translate when Mick spoke too cockneysh, "go spaghetti, listen to him and tell us in decent english...".

"Unfortunately, I never got back to New England, but I follow or even play the Aussie sports daily since then."

A ball up against the Czech Republic. Looks like Tramontin got the best of the exchange.

A ball up against the Czech Republic. Looks like Tramontin got the best of the exchange.

Later in life, Tramontin played for the Italian national AFL team among other sports.

Sport Crime features a journalist (Dani) and a former rugby player (Dabs) who form a detective agency to investigate illegal behavior in the sports world, with a new sport featured each week.

"Glen Innes will be mentioned," he promises

"I'd like to have an episode in Glen Innes in season 2 or 3, maybe in 31 Torrington Street where I lived.

"Hopefully, international exposure can trigger something for the 15-a-side again, I hoped so when I saw Alex Newsome with the Wallabies and recognised some familiar resemblances."