I really like living in Melbourne and one of the great aspects about it is that it’s a football state. It’s the home of footy.
It’d be fair to say that I’m footy nut. I always sit on the couch on a Friday night and watch the games, which my partner isn’t always the biggest fan of. There are certain players that I love to watch like Eddie Betts and Cyril Rioli who I can’t get enough of.
Melbourne reminds me a little bit of Perth actually. Sydney was always a little too fast-paced for me, whereas Melbourne is a bit slower and I love the café scene here living in Brunswick.
It’s been an interesting few years for me — moving from Perth to Sydney after I got drafted to GWS and then further south to Melbourne since being traded to Carlton.
After the first two years with the Giants I thought why not move again and try Melbourne. I feel like a lot of players just decide to move back home but I didn’t want to do that. Why not do something different and try a new place? I’ve got my whole life to go back to Perth.
It did cross my mind to go to a Perth club but I thought the best move for me would be to come to Carlton and spend the rest of my career here — I don’t want to go from club to club.
A little bit of the move here was based on opportunity, but I also knew a few of the boys at the Blues which helps. I lived with Caleb Marchbank in my first year at the Giants so that helped me settle in initially when I moved to Carlton.
When I first got to GWS I was only 18 and they had a really young group at the time, so we all had a fair bit to learn.
Given the fact I wasn’t able to break into the side and get a game while I was there, it has driven me to make more of my opportunity at Carlton. I want to play as much as I can, as soon as I can over here.
Coming across to Carlton, I’ve been able to transfer a lot of learnings over here even though I didn’t play. I’m helping out the first-year players whenever they need anything.
The move hasn’t necessarily developed my game yet, but moving into a new environment has freshened me up.
Having Andrew Walker over here as an integration/development coach has also been massive for me in helping with the move. He didn’t even know me but immediately got involved and helped me transition.
He’s from around the Echuca area and he took me up there for a fishing trip to get to know each other and that instantly helped. I used that as an opportunity to ask him questions about the club and then he gave me advice about certain roles to play. There are some signs that I’m get more and more comfortable playing and a lot of that is down to the work he has put in with me.
If we have questions or queries about the game plan, we can go to ‘Walks’ and he helps us out. He’s mentoring myself, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Kym LeBois and Liam Jones.
One thing that I’ve really noticed since being here is that the gym sessions are more intense at Carlton. I remember rolling in at the Giants and I don’t think I got as much out of the gym there as I could have. I’m getting a lot out of the gym sessions at Carlton.
The training has been a little different, too. A lot of the sessions are game based. Having senior players like Kade Simpson and Marc Murphy who are older and experienced helps the young boys out.
I’m slowly getting the feel for AFL, and the game against Gold Coast gave me a lot of confidence, especially with my running. If I run my fastest I know that no one can keep up with me. I just need to kick straight.
A real highlight so far was my first AFL win against Essendon which was a special moment. They were going really well at 2-0 so it was great to knock them off because of the rivalry between the two clubs.
Hopefully there’ll be many more to come.