Ollie Wines grew up just like any other kid, kicking the footy in his backyard with his brother, dreaming of the big time.
But unlike most other kids, Wines has not only made it into the AFL but made an immediate impact since playing his first game two years ago.
The 20-year-old has played every match since making his debut in Round 1, 2013 to emerge as one of the best young players in the game.
Featured as part of the Channel Seven #Discovered series, Wines finished last season leading the Power for hard and loose-ball gets, was ranked third for tackles, and placed equal-sixth in the club’s best and fairest award.
But after being listed as 89kg in 2012 and then 94kg at the beginning of 2013, the stocky midfielder decided he needed to change before his physical condition got out of hand.
“I was probably a bit heavy towards the end of the season so myself and the coaches probably knew I needed to lose a bit of weight – not muscle but a bit of fat,” Wines says.
“It was my mum who took control of that. She really drove it and made sure I had no carbs and was eating very healthy.”
Wines’ early success suggests he’s settled in well to Adelaide since coming over from Echuca, some seven hours east along the border of Victoria.
“mum took control of that. She really made sure I had no carbs and was eating very healthy” – Ollie Wines
He averaged 18 disposals in his debut season before taking his game to a new level in 2014, averaging 24 touches, 11 contested possessions, and four clearances per game – rare numbers for a player who’s only just played his 50th AFL game.
But Wines says moving away at such a young age was a little unnerving to begin with.
“It was a daunting experience, I think. I had never been away from home too much and I’m very close to my family so it was a hard experience.
“But they say Adelaide’s not really a city, it’s a big country town which rings true, I think. It’s a great place to live and it’s just a bigger version of Echuca really.”
Wines looks set to stay in the AFL system for many years to come, but he’s already thought about the role footy might play in his life when AFL comes to an end.
“I just love playing the game and whether it’s for a job or a passion, I think I’ll always play football.”