Being a number five draft pick, Connor came into Port Adelaide with a pretty big rapport.
At the club, we’d seen a little bit about the way he played and how he went about his football and we knew he’d won a premiership with North Adelaide so we were all pretty excited to have him as part of our team.
From day one Connor didn’t disappoint! His ability, his skill and his work rate was really noticeable. He had a desire to improve from the moment he became a Port Adelaide player.
Sometimes when a player comes in that’s been a high draft pick, they can have a chip on their shoulder but Connor (and our other draft picks) were humble and eager to learn.
Connor, especially, has been a standout in that space.
After Connor arrived at the club, I was assigned as his player mentor.
I’ve loved building that relationship with him because of the way he’s been able to settle in. He’s easy to work with and a great kid to be around who wants to better himself and be the best footballer he can be.
When you enter the AFL system as a high draft pick there is a level of expectation about how you’re going to perform and from day one that never really phased him.
Connor was confident but never arrogant. You could tell he was going to be a good player.
My biggest concern was his light-frame, which I thought was going to take a while to develop, but his speed and agility meant he was going to fit into AFL footy right from the get-go.
Throughout the course of pre-season you could tell that he was coming pretty close to being ready to go for Round 1.
The smaller things he’s been doing, which probably aren’t as noticeable to the supporters, have been really impressive too. His blocks, chases and second and third efforts have been a standout for a first-year player.
Connor’s ability to will himself to those efforts has been really impressive. When you get a young guy in that is willing to do the one percenters and contribute to the team culture that makes for a pretty good combination.
Connor has settled in really well both on and off the field.
He’s humble, eager to learn and level-headed – he has the ability to get on with anyone! Although he is quiet and goes about his business, he also knows when to have fun and banter with the boys.
You want a guy to come into the club who is willing to do play his role but also learn along the way.
In just a few months, Connor has done just that.
AFL RISING STAR NOMINEES IN 2019
Round 3 — Connor Rozee (Port Adelaide)