Young Crow Nick Joyce has used the experience of being temporarily delisted to propel himself to a personal best time in the Club’s endurance testing on Monday.
Originally selected with pick No. 46 in last year’s AFL National Draft, Joyce was an unfortunate victim of circumstance last month. The 19-year-old was delisted by Adelaide as a result of the AFL’s ruling not to allow the Club to cut outgoing forward Kurt Tippett before the third list lodgement.
The former Crows staffer continued to train at Adelaide, with the Club committing to re-drafting him for the 2013 season. Joyce officially re-joined the list with pick No.10 in the Pre-season Draft on Tuesday and said he was happy to put the whole ordeal behind him.
“I’d been reassured by (List Manager) David Noble that I’d be back on the list, but I guess until your name gets called out it’s not official. Nobes kept to his word and re-drafted me, and it’s good to be back on the list,” Joyce told afc.com.au on Tuesday.
“It (the situation) hasn’t been ideal, but it’s been alright really … you come up against these things in life sometimes. I worked through it and had plenty of support from my management, David Noble and my family.”
Adelaide had no intention of delisting Joyce, but had to make the tough decision to release a player when Tippett remained on the senior list heading into October’s AFL National Draft.
“It was a bit of a shock initially. As players, we were in the dark a little bit at the start. We didn’t know what was true and what was just in the media. We weren’t sure what actually had to happen (in terms of a player being delisted),” Joyce said.
“When I first found out, it wasn’t the best news to receive but it’s all worked out fine.
“The only uncertainty was what (punishment) the Club was going to be dealt by the AFL (as a result of the investigation) and how that it would affect us, but we spoke to the AFL and the AFL Players Association to try to get as much clarity as we could and also to find out the best way to get back onto this list.
“The AFL and AFLPA were great with it. Once we found out what cards were dealt we had a pretty clear idea of how I’d get back on the list. Then it was just basically waiting for the pre-season draft to come around. Now, everything’s back to normal.”
Adelaide promised to re-draft Joyce as soon as possible, but the former Woodville-West Torrens junior selflessly withdrew his nomination for last month’s national draft, which allowed the Club to secure another two promising teenagers in Sam Siggins and Rory Atkins.
“We had two options. From the start, the Club said they’d re-draft me at the earliest opportunity which was the national draft, but when we looked into it more closely we saw the Club could get an advantage if I did move into the pre-season draft because we’d be able to take two new blokes, Sam Siggins and Rory Atkins, in the national draft rather than having just me and say Sam,” he said.
“It helped out the Club in that way and there were also fewer clubs with picks before us in the (pre-season) draft today, so there was less chance of me going somewhere else. It was a win-win.”
Joyce has responded to the regrettable situation by starring on the training track.
On Monday, he recorded a personal best result in the five-minute run, finishing third behind strong endurance runners Nathan van Berlo and Sam Kerridge.
“Being delisted is always going to give you a kick in the guts,” he said.
“It’s been a bit of fuel in the fire to keep me going and to keep improving. I’m just trying to get better and hopefully it doesn’t happen again next year.
“I absolutely love this Club. I was here the year before I was drafted working, so I knew a bit about the culture, the people and the staff. Being a part of the playing group was 100 times better than being on staff. The way the boys include you is fantastic.”
As well as working on his fitness and strength during the offseason Joyce, who hails from Crystal Brook 200km north of Adelaide, took time out to take part in one of his favourite activities – hunting.
“I love getting outside and back to the country,” he said.
“We catch feral animals, like wild pigs, buffalo and goats with the bow and arrow. Getting a buffalo home is a bit of work, but we had the car up there, which made it easier.”