Adelaide recruit Oscar Ryan credits his new teammates for making the switch from underage footy to life at an AFL Club a seamless transition.
Ryan, who made his way to West Lakes in November after being selected with Pick No. 27 at the AFL National Draft, said all players had been sharing the load in helping to develop the newest Crows.
“It’s been great and I’m settling in so well, it’s just such a tight-knit group and everyone gets along,” Ryan told AFC Media.
“It’s like a big family, that’s what’s impressed me.”
But there are two teammates who have specifically taken the 18-year-old defender under their wing, helping him learn what it takes to be a professional athlete.
“Junior is a big one - Wayne Milera has been the biggest role model for me,” Ryan said.
“He has given me some good advice - just told me to be confident and ask questions.
“He plays on the half-back line and so do I, so he’s helping me a lot with that and I’m loving it down there.
“And Riley (Thilthorpe), I’m living with him now, so those two have been the biggest for me.”
A highly-skilled rebound defender with good speed, Ryan is renowned for his toughness and attack on the footy.
Ryan said adjusting to the workload of a pre-season under fitness guru Darren Burgess had been an adjustment, but was enjoying the challenge.
“It’s a good lifestyle to have, training every day, which I love.
“We train four to five times a week, so it’s just getting used to all that.
“The toughest has probably been the running Burgo sets but everyone does it, and that makes it so much easier.
“We are almost done with pre-season, though, which is good.”
Ryan said his goal was to make his AFL debut this year but was focused on improving across the final few weeks of pre-season and during the Crows’ SANFL campaign.
“I’m hoping I can debut, but if not, play a few strong SANFL games and learn the ropes because even SANFL will be a strong competition,” Ryan said.
“I just want to play some good games and hopefully get an AFL game later in the year.”