Adelaide midfielder Ronin O’Connor has played in three junior premierships, but there’s one memory that’s his favourite of not just 2021 - but his career so far.
The youngster, who joined the Crows with pick No.42 at the 2019 AFL National Draft, made his debut in Round Nine against West Coast at Optus Stadium.
His first game in the tri-colours was particularly poignant, thanks to some very special supporters in the crowd.
“My favourite memory of the year would be my debut, it was unreal,” O’Connor said.
“When I got my first possession with all my family and friends being around… hearing them go off in the crowd was very special.
“It went very quick but it’s something I’ll remember forever.
“Most of my mates from Perth were in the corner of the stadium up top and every time I got the ball I could hear them roar.
“It was pretty funny and it was an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
O’Connor’s first year as a Crow was tough, as Covid-19 meant there was no SANFL side for him to play in and push for AFL selection.
But the 20-year-old used it as a positive.
“Even though Covid is still around, last year we weren’t really playing any games, so it’s been nice to have the SANFL back and going,” O’Connor said.
“Last year, being a first-year player, we just developed the game plan and learned all the basics so that going into this year, I could kind of just play footy.
“I think all of us boys took it in the right way, we worked hard in the gym and put on a bit of size and learnt the game plan so this year we could hit the ground running after pre-season.”
Despite O’Connor being a West Australian, he said he enjoyed living in Adelaide and was looking forward to being part of the Crows’ resurgence.
“I love the Club, all the staff members, the players, coaches, are all really good and it’s like a big family so I’m loving it,” O’Connor said.
“Adelaide is like a smaller version of Perth, it’s really laid back, it’s really easy living and I am really enjoying it.
“The future is pretty bright, I reckon we have a pretty good brand.”