Young Adelaide defender Josh Worrell can still remember his first thought when he found his car on the oval at West Lakes.
Much to Worrell’s surprise, the ‘prank’ had plenty more to it - a note was placed on the steering wheel, letting him know he would be making his debut that weekend.
“It was a bit rattling when I first came out and saw my car on the oval,” Worrell said.
“I thought it was just another prank.
“I think about three or four weeks before (my debut) Tex and Schoey had put the car out on the oval, so I thought they were doing it again.
“But it was amazing and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for the next couple of days.”
The moment Worrell found out he would be debuting against St Kilda in Cairns was close to his favourite memory of 2021.
But there was another that took out the number one rank - the actual match - and the eventual victory against the Saints.
“It was a childhood dream come true,” Worrell said.
“It was a big step up from SANFL, the intensity and the speed of it, but I really enjoyed the experience and no doubt will take a lot from it.
“My debut was probably the best moment of my life, to be honest.”
Worrell said he found last year tough as the Crows sat out the SANFL competition due to Covid-19.
But he recaptured the love of the game in 2021.
“It was very hard (last year),” Worrell said.
“Not playing games, I think I lost belief in myself and was like, ‘Can I do this?’.
“Then, finally getting back to playing games, I found so much love for the game again.
“I realised why I play the game and I really appreciate the five minutes in the changerooms after a game now.”
Worrell, who the Crows selected with pick No. 28 at the 2019 AFL National Draft, said he was keen to improve on his fitness during the pre-season as he looked to cement a spot in the 2022 side.
“I think the group we’ve got is pretty good at the moment, very young and it’s a lot of fun to be around,” Worrell said.
“I’m really keen on just staying here (in Adelaide) and training with a group of the boys, making myself really prepared for a big pre-season to come.”