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My Draft Day: Rory Sloane

Rory Sloane  November 5, 2015 8:30 AM

A young Rory Sloane back in 2010

A young Rory Sloane back in 2010

I knew I wasn't rated too highly by the clubs, but I knew Hamish Ogilvie really loved me.

The 2008 draft was actually my second draft.

I entered in the 2007 draft, but I thought I was no chance at all. After talking to Hamish Ogilvie (National Recruiting Manager), I found out it was between me and Aaron Kite for Adelaide's last pick that year.

It was probably lucky I didn't get picked up because I don't think I was mentally ready for it. I might've got homesick if I'd come over that early - I was still only 17 then.

Prior to the ’08 draft, I’d been in Queensland for 'Schoolies' and only got back to my family home in Upwey at 2am that (draft) day.

The draft was still held in the morning back then, but I knew I wasn't going to go early, so I thought I'd just wake up whenever.

My dad was tuned into the coverage very early and he woke me up when they were up to pick No.5 or No.6. I had to wait awhile, but eventually I got read out at No.44.

Mum was a bit upset and very emotional that I was going to Adelaide. We were a big St Kilda family and Dad was annoyed because I think the 1997 Grand Final still burned him a bit. Fortunately, we've won him over now and once we win a Grand Final he'll be Adelaide for life.

In the lead up to the draft, I'd spoken to about 12 clubs and St Kilda wasn't one of them which I was shattered about.

I knew I wasn't rated too highly by the clubs, but I knew Hamish Ogilvie really loved me. Hamish was awesome for me throughout the whole Under-18 Vic Metro competition. He helped me out through a few tough stages.

I was always going to go in that middle section of the draft. I knew that if I wasn't picked up by another team by a certain stage that Adelaide would take me.

It was good to end up at a club where the recruiters really believed in me. It gave me a lot of confidence coming here that I could really have a good crack at it.

I went out celebrating again the night of the draft, had a good time and the next day was on a plane to Adelaide. I always thought 'Adelaide, how am I going to go there?'

I had never been here before, but now I love it. It's such an easy place to live.

On the Monday, we were straight into training on the bike with Charlie Walsh and we had a few fitness tests to do. I got through it really well and felt good – I don't know how because it had been a big a couple of weeks. I think it might've been just the excitement of being at an AFL club.

That whole pre-season just went so quickly. It was probably the easiest pre-season I’ve done because you're trying to impress everyone the whole time. You're not worried about how hard the drills are or how much running you have to do … now it's all I think about!

There are so many stories of people throughout the competition, who go really late throughout the drafts. I don’t think it really matters what number you go, once you're in the system, if you work hard and train hard you’ll normally succeed.