By Emma Quayle

ISBN-10: 1741755182

ISBN-13: 9781741755183

At the beginning of 2007, Age sportswriter Emma Quayle selected five AFL hopefuls from a number of various situations: Trent Cotchin, Ben McEvoy, Junior Rioli, Pat Vezpremi, and Brad Ebert. She did not comprehend what may take place to them, and neither did the lads and their mom and dad. it might be a yr whilst their goals could be shattered, the place they'd need to work flat out bodily, improve the psychological longevity required by way of a aggressive atmosphere, do something about accidents, and face the cruel realities of the elite activities industry—all whereas attempting to get homework performed to move and graduate from highschool. this is often the full story of the folks in the back of the draft: the households, the recruiters, the academics, the coaches, the activities scientists, and most significantly the avid gamers themselves.

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Junior listened as he explained how tangled his emotions were in the moment he was drafted − so excited to be picked up, it had then felt a bit hollow, because he’d wanted to play for a Melbourne club. Junior stayed up late that night, drinking, chatting and celebrating. It didn’t cross his mind that in 12 more months he might be drafted, until Nathan pulled him aside, and reminded him. ‘It’s your turn next year,’ he said. indd 42 10/7/08 12:03:19 PM 7 ‘ So much has got to go right for you ’ Tuesday 20 March 2007 Brad Ebert spent the second week of January training with Adelaide.

Nathan did go − back to the fish, the frangipanis and his family. But then he came back to Melbourne, and stayed, a warm coffee and a good, long chat with Rob Smith helping him change his mind. Nathan graduated from Scotch College in November 2006 and a few weeks later was drafted to Geelong. Few things had made Rob feel more satisfied in all his 20 years teaching. On the morning of Nathan’s draft, Junior had been standing outside the boarding house with Stewie, waiting for a cab. All morning they’d been nagging each other to hurry, and now they were going to miss it.

To see the school and Junior’s emerging life there eased his mind; it made Junior feel better too. ‘He never looked back after that,’ said Rob Smith. That didn’t mean it was easy. One of the first things Rob noticed about Junior was his flexible sense of time. He would get to places if he wanted to get there, but not with any real urgency. Rob also noticed how he’d often agree to do things and then back out without telling anyone. indd 39 10/7/08 12:03:19 PM THE DRAFT A few times, parents offered to take him to the football on the weekend but, arriving to pick him up, couldn’t find him.

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Draft, The: Inside the AFL's Search for Talent by Emma Quayle

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