Growing up, Adelaide defender Patrick Parnell always had a football in his hands.
The now 20-year-old remembers spending hours in the backyard working on his craft.
“I’ve been kicking the footy with my old man since I can remember,” Parnell said.
“I used to kick balls, I used to have a bin at home, I used to wheel it around the house and just have shots from everywhere.
“I’ve done a lot of work on that (kicking) prior to being drafted so I feel like that's my weapon.”
Parnell’s hard work and dedication were rewarded on Wednesday when he put pen to paper on a new, two-year deal with the Club.
Speaking to the media after the contract extension was announced, Parnell said he was looking forward to remaining a Crow for at least another two years.
“I suppose as a kid all I’ve dreamed of was playing AFL footy,” Parnell said.
“I’d love to have a long-term career here at the Crows.
“I feel like I’ve got some good relationships so a long-term career would be unreal.”
The 20-year-old joined the Crows via the 2021 Mid-Season Rookie Draft when he was selected with Pick No.4 from the Murray Bushrangers and Albury Tigers.
Parnell spent the second half of last season developing his game as a rebounding defender in the SANFL.
His classy ball use, hard-running and sound decision making led to his AFL debut against West Coast in Round 12.
He has played the past four games at AFL level and is now certain to add to that after signing a new deal keeping him at the Club until at least 2024.
Parnell described his AFL debut as “a little bit of a blur” and was keen to continue improving his game.
“I remember my first touch but after that it was a little bit of a blur,” Parnell said.
“You grow up like watching these blokes on TV and to be running alongside them, it was pretty cool.
“I feel like I’m starting to feel more comfortable at the level, now, and my defensive craft is starting to improve.”