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My Draft Day: Sam Kerridge

Sam Kerridge  November 12, 2014 9:53 AM

My Draft Day: Sam Kerridge Sam Kerridge talks to Channel Crow about the day he was drafted to the Adelaide Football Club
AFL 2014 Rd 04 - St Kilda v Adelaide

Sam Kerridge of the Adelaide Crows in action during the 2014 AFL round 04 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Adelaide Crows at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 13, 2014. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)

When I saw my name come up on the bottom of the screen, I was stoked. I think Mum jumped out of her chair and Dad was pretty pumped as well.

I was doing Year 12 exams at the time, and it was tough. I was pretty distracted and I probably put a bit more time into my footy than schooling, which Mum and Dad weren’t too happy about.

I didn’t have too many expectations heading into the draft. I was pretty hopeful that it would come off, because I had put a lot of time and hard work into trying to get drafted. But you’ve also got to understand that sometimes it doesn’t happen.

I had a little bit of contact with the Crows, and a few other clubs here and there. But they don’t like to show their hand and everything is kept pretty tight under wraps.

I actually watched the draft itself on TV in a hotel room in Mildura with just my Mum and Dad. I was so nervous at the time, and I didn’t want anyone else around.

Read Rory Sloane and David Mackay’s Draft Day stories.

I could enjoy the top 10 because I knew I wasn’t going to be there, and it was good to see them get their jumpers presented, but I started to get the sweats when the names started rolling across the bottom of the screen for the later picks.

It definitely was a nerve-wracking time. I don’t think there’s any experience like it.

When I saw my name come up on the bottom of the screen, I was stoked. I think Mum jumped out of her chair and Dad was pretty pumped as well. It was an awesome feeling.

I think I had a grin from ear to ear, but it was also a bit of a relief. I’d put a lot of time in and moved away from home and away from family and friends to try and get an AFL gig. To see that all the hard work had paid off was really rewarding.

I was just so pumped and happy, and really keen to get started.

My phone was blowing up a bit. It’s good that your mates appreciate and are proud of what you’ve done. I had a few mates come over that night and celebrate.

The Club rang me that night and gave me a brief rundown. National Recruiting Manager Hamish Ogilvie came over to our house in Mildura and helped me pack all my gear up that day.

I finished my Year 12 exams and I think I had five days between then and being over in Adelaide on the track training. Mum shed a tear as I left the driveway to the airport to fly over. It was pretty full on.

I already knew Brodie Smith from our AIS days and Brad Crouch from Vic Country, but other than that I didn’t really know anyone. So I kind of just came over and made the most of it.

I love Adelaide - it’s a fantastic place. I’m really happy here and I’m really enjoying it.

My advice to the young guys out there is not to put too high expectations on yourself. Draft night might not be your night, but years down the track people are still getting picked up.

So keep having a crack. But if you do get the chance, make the most of it.