Soon, many young men are going to be drafted in the national AFL draft, but have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes before they are selected?
I thought I would give you a tiny insight into the process…
PLAY GOOD FOOTY
First you must play some good footy at some point during the year. Through my experience it was in your best interest to make your best games in the state carnival because all the recruiters and media attend and base most of their judgement from there.
Recruiters will interview you and ask some strange questions to get an insight into your thinking. One member from a recruiting team asked me back in 2010, “If you were getting on a bus where do you sit?” I didn’t think about it I just answered, “down the back” he looked at me and asked another follow-up question “so now the bus is on fire and you’re at the back, why did you choose to go to the back?”
At this point, I have no idea what’s going on… “I don’t know, I just got on this bus without expecting it to catch on fire to be honest.” They will do other strange things from asking to go through your phone and asking you to sell them a pen.
If you get invited to draft camp you will be asked to do all the basic fitness tests to show recruiters how fit or agile you are. The beep test, 20m sprint, agility poles, standing vertical and running vertical jump tests. Always a good idea that if you aren’t feeling your fittest then suddenly have a ‘tight’ hamstring so you don’t slide in the draft. Be smarter not fitter.
The night that you’ve been waiting for and all you want is to go to a club that you want. It’s an exciting night and nothing should ruin it, except if you see the recruiters in the lobby before the draft and they say “we cant wait to see you Monday for pre-season” and now you’ve got to get a full sleeve and a girlfriend with huge fake breasts to fit in with the scene of the Gold Coast
PACK UP HOME
If you have been selected to go interstate, then you will have two days to pack up everything you have. But being a young kid, you don’t have much except for some bonds undies, a PlayStation and condoms that wont ever get used.
You walk into the club and make friends with the young guys and quickly realise that the senior guys have no time for you and will not respect you. If you are sore from a training session don’t even think about putting your name down for a massage, the older guys have earned the right to reserve spots.
You will have to go down to the local massage place on your day off. Earn your stripes and respect the senior heads. I’ll never forget the time in my second or third year where Gary Ablett introduced me using the wrong name! Names and respect are earned not given.