After being taken with pick 12 in the National Draft, GWS Giants draftee Jye Caldwell moved from country Victoria to Sydney. He spoke with AFLPlayers.com.au at the 2019 Induction Camp ahead of his first season with the Giants about how he is settling in, his journey to the AFL and his state junior boxing title.
How have you settled into your life at the Giants and up in Sydney?
I’ve settled down pretty well actually. There’s about seven of us and we’re all living at Breakfast Point so I’m at living at an apartment with Xavier O’Halloran. We’re all just cooking, cleaning, sleeping and going to training. It’s been pretty good so far.
What’s Xavier like as a housemate?
He’s a bit messy, which isn’t really a good thing but he cleans up when he needs to. It’s been good living with him.
You were a boarder at Geelong Grammar which I imagine has made the transition out of home a little bit easier. How have you found it?
Moving up to Sydney has been good and spending those three years at Geelong has really helped me. I haven’t got homesick yet or anything.
You attended school with and played TAC Cup football with your GWS teammate Brent Daniels. How has it been having him up at the Giants with you given he’s already got a year of experience under his belt?
Yeah it’s made it a lot easier. When I was drafted I sent him a few texts asking what it was like, what I needed to bring and all that sort of stuff. He’s straight up and honest with me, he just says it how it is. Having him there has been helpful because it’s someone that I can speak to that I already knew.
Which other players have taken you under their wing and helped you out during those first few weeks?
Callan Ward has been great. He’s a really good leader obviously being vice-captain and has given some really good advice. Zac Langdon as well, as a second-year player he’s been really great. He’s living in Breakfast Point as well so he picked us up at the start and was just helping us boys out.
From what I understand you were a junior state boxing champion. How did your involvement in the sport come about?
I grew up playing basketball but I wasn’t the best, I was more just playing with my mates so I thought that there is probably something better that I can do for myself. I thought of boxing and tested it out for a bit with training and what not. My first year I had a fight just to see how it would go and that sort of rolled over so then I started training for my next fight which was the state title and I ended up winning that. After that I decided not to fight competitively anymore and just did it more for training for my footy.
You had a fairly injury-plagued top-age year in 2018 before getting drafted. How did you deal with those setbacks?
I had my goal of getting drafted and it probably hit me when I was injured that people began to doubt me or began saying that my body was injury prone so I really just wanted to focus on my rehab and actually getting my body 100 per cent. I wanted to prove that I wasn’t injury prone and that I could give getting drafted my best shot.