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Kieran Strachan's non-traditional pathway to AFL

Kieran Strachan Presser December 4 New Crows recruit Kieran Strachan speaks to media.

New Crow Kieran Strachan is a late bloomer who hasn't come through the traditional pathways to the AFL.

He didn't play in the TAC Cup, earning his stripes in the country, winning back-to-back best and fairests with his hometown club, South Bendigo, in the Bendigo Football League.

He was then appointed captain at the age of 21 before coming on to the radar of VFL club Essendon.

"I definitely thought (when I was 18 that AFL) had slipped me by," he said.

"I was developing my own game and didn't really know what that was.

"At the time, I probably thought I was back off the pace a bit, but I developed when I got to 18, 20, really quickly, especially at my local club.

"My development after 18 was quite significant from then on to now."

2018 Draft: Rookie Pick 7 - Kieran Strachan

Strachan moved to Port Melbourne midway through this season for more opportunities but suffered a serious ankle injury in his second game.

He is 18 weeks post-surgery, has returned to running and will resume full training next year.

Strachan's immediate goal is to put on size – he currently weighs 95kg to go with his 202cm frame.

ROOKIE DRAFT: Crows add ruck depth

He will be given time to develop his craft under established star Sam Jacobs and provide competition to fellow ruckmen Reilly O'Brien and Paul Hunter.

"I'm developing that confidence to know I am able to step up to that level," Strachan said.

"At the same time, I know I've got a lot of development to go and a lot to learn.

"If I learn as much as I can off them and be ready to go when I am called upon, it's something I'll work towards, but I know where I'm sitting and just learning and developing as much as I can."

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs