Before they were teammates at Brisbane, Toby Wooller and Cameron Rayner were mates from their time at Vic Metro. After Rayner was named the Round 15 Rising Star nominee, Wooller shares his experiences with his exciting Lions teammate, in an exclusive column.
What comes to mind when I think of Cameron Rayner? Energy and enthusiasm.
He’s like that on the footy field, too — must be the sugar high from the packet of skittles he has before every game. He loves them.
We’ve been teasing Cam a bit lately because he’s only washed his sheets once since we moved into Tom Bell’s house six months ago.
But in all seriousness, I’ve known Cam for a few years now and he’s a ripping person. We met when we both played in the Vic Metro under-16 squad together.
He rocked up with big, long, frizzled hair, which is a bit different to what he has today. He was explosive and could do things not many others could — we’re quite different in that regard — but off the field, he’s kind and genuine.
While he’s loud and outgoing, he’s a really great person. He loves getting to know everyone and doesn’t like it when someone is left out.
Cam was always a gun and we knew early on that he’d be a high draft pick. Halfway through last year, he was going through a good patch in the TAC Cup and was playing well for Vic Metro so by then I knew he’d be taken with the first pick.
That was around the same time he took one of the best marks I’ve ever seen on the shoulders of Ed Richards when my Chargers took on his Jets.
Another amazing moment I remember was when we were playing for Vic Metro together and he collected the ball on the wing and strolled to half-forward and slotted a goal from 50 metres out — everyone knew he was a special talent.
We played at opposite ends of the ground as opponents but I did manage to tackle him once, which I’ve clearly held onto for a while.
He’s been humble throughout the journey but I know he’d be secretly loving all the media attention and interviews. He’s definitely handled himself well.
Since sharing a house with him, I’ve realised that he’s also not the best cook I’ve seen. He likes to keep things simple (two chicken kievs and some potatoes). He also puts vegemite in his spaghetti and tomato sauce on just about everything.
If he can clean up his diet a little bit, he’ll be a star.
I’ve stitched him up enough now. Cam’s not short on confidence but over the last two or three months, he’s come out of his shell around the boys. Everyone’s a bit quiet when you first rock up to a footy club but he’s really showing his personality in the last few months.
It’s been good fun hanging out with him each day. He’s always going to be that jokey personality but his hard work and eagerness to improve has really grown since joining a professional environment.
I can’t wait to see his career unfold.