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Me and my shadow

Katrina Gill  November 23, 2012 11:45 AM

Pick 62: Sam Siggins Draft Prospect: Sam Siggins
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Sam Siggins of Tasmania and Sam Autio of NT in action during the 2012 NAB AFL Under 18 Championship between Northern Territory and Tasmania at Simonds Stadium, Geelong. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

I’m just stoked I’ll be able to hang around the likes of Ben Rutten and Daniel Talia.
Tasmanian recruit Sam Siggins says he plans to follow new teammates Ben Rutten and Daniel Talia like a shadow in his first year at Adelaide.

Siggins, 18, was snaffled by the Crows with their first pick (No.62 overall) in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft on the Gold Coast on Thursday night. A 196cm, 88kg, defender, Siggins represented Tasmania at the Under-18 Championships and was tested strongly at the Draft Combine last month.

Crows national recruiting manager Hamish Ogilvie likened the rebounding backman, who can play on both talls and smalls and is strong in the air, to former first-round draft pick Phil Davis.

A self-confessed “footy head”, Siggins said he was keen to learn the tricks of the trade from the young but proven Daniel Talia, and All Australian representative Rutten.

“I’m just stoked I’ll be able to hang around the likes of Ben Rutten and Daniel Talia. I’m going to pick their brains on how to play AFL. I’ll see just how professional they are and how they go about it,” Siggins told afc.com.au.

“Talia is close to my age, so it will be good to learn from him. He knows what it’s all about having won the NAB Rising Star award this year. He’s played on the best centre half-forwards and full-forwards in the league, so I’ll be hanging off him and also Rutten, who has done it his whole career, at training.

“They’ll probably get sick of me by the end of the first year because I’ll be asking them 100 questions, but I can’t wait to get over there and learn from the best.”

Siggins has been on Adelaide’s radar since he made his senior debut for Lauderdale at age 15. He spoke to “most” clubs in the lead-up to Thursday night’s draft, but said the Crows had expressed the greatest interest.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play AFL. I was beginning to doubt I was going to achieve that, but I knew Adelaide might pick me,” Siggins said.

“Initially, I thought all of Adelaide’s picks were gone (when the Club relinquished its first two picks on Wednesday) and didn’t know what to think but I quickly realised they still had a couple of late ones.

“I was just hopeful that I could slip through and go to the Crows. Hamish didn’t hesitate at pick No.62. He just went bang and called my name.

“Adelaide was the most intense (in expressing interest) and I loved that because they really wanted me to be part of their club.

“To get the opportunity to go to the club that wanted you all year is awesome. It gives me great confidence I can go over there, work my hardest and show what I can do at the level.”

At the Draft Combine, Siggins excelled in the endurance tests, finishing fifth in the beep test (14.4) and eighth in the 3km time trial (10min19sec). The enthusiastic teenager said he’d developed his aerobic fitness playing as a midfielder in junior ranks.

“Growing up I was a midfielder. I was a lot shorter - only about six foot - and I was a good runner,” he said.

“I had a big growth spurt a couple of years ago, but I kept trying to run like and work as hard as a midfielder. I feel like my endurance is a strength, but the journey has only just started.

“The easy bit is to get drafted. Now, the hard work really begins. I haven’t achieved my dream yet. I’ve got a lot of work to do to be successful at AFL level. As soon as I get there I’ll be working my backside off to prove to the boys I can play good footy and want to be a part of it.”

Siggins and fourth-round draftee Rory Atkins will start their Crows journey on Monday. Siggins said he was looking forward to meeting his new teammates, including fellow Tasmanians Ian Callinan, Angus Graham and rookie Jack Osborn.

“To be in the environment of an AFL club will be out of this world. Adelaide’s a great place to go … it’ll be a lot warmer than Tassie,” he said.

“It’ll be good having a few Tassie boys, like Ian Callinan over there. I’ll be pleased to meet him. He knows how hard it is to make it to AFL level out of Tasmania.

“He’s gone through all the tough times, so to see him get picked up at his age and play as well as he has is a credit to his hard work. He’s showed the Tassie spirit and how we go about it.”