After spending the past two years in the USA playing college basketball, Matthew Owies was ready for a change. Carlton’s newest Category B rookie signing spoke with AFLPlayers.com.au about his love of AFL, what attracted him to the Blues and his time in the USA.
What led to your decision to move back to Australia and transition into the AFL after spending time in the USA playing college basketball?
I was over in Seattle the past year and I came back home and found myself over time always watching and following the AFL and when I came back I found myself at the football each weekend. When I started chatting with Carlton and what they have to offer, with a young list and how exciting times are there and how it’s going to turn around it sounded like the perfect opportunity and the perfect time — being 21 — to come back home and start playing.
What did your time in the USA involve?
I played a year at the University of Hawaii. I really enjoyed that with the lifestyle but then I transferred to Seattle. I had to sit out a year because of division one transfer rules which was really tough, not being able to play and compete, so when the opportunity came up to come back and compete straight away and play AFL, which I love, that was awesome. I was also studying exercise science and business.
Will you continue that study here in Australia?
Yeah, I will continue studying as well because I find that a really important balance.
You played both football and basketball when you were at school and in the APS competition for St Kevin’s, what made you choose to pursue a career in basketball instead?
At that time, when I gave football up I was in year nine, and that was when I made my first Australian team for basketball. It was becoming a full-on commitment, with a lot of time, so when I made my first Australian team the time seemed right to focus on basketball. It was such an awesome experience to represent your country and there were multiple opportunities coming up with that so that is what led me to choose basketball.
There a number of basketballers-turned-footballers in the AFL, namely Hugh Greenwood and Mason Cox, will you get in contact with them about their transition and use them as inspiration for your own career in the AFL?
Absolutely you look up to guys like that, especially Hugh Greenwood who has played at the same level of basketball as me and made the switch. He’s definitely someone I will look up to because he makes such a different to Adelaide’s team. I might reach out to him, I know that the boys at Carlton are also giving me insight into the pre-season so that really helps so I am not going and having it all thrown in on the first day. I will go in knowing what’s going to happen on the first day of pre-season.
Have you made contact with any of the Carlton players?
I’ve been around the club for the past two weeks or so, so I have met a lot of the boys and started to speak with them. They’ve all been great. I’m sure there will be multiple brains for me to pick.
Thanks so much for your time Matt and good luck with everything.
Awesome, thanks! I really appreciate it.
Feature image: Carlton Media