WEST Perth’s latest AFL draftee Marcus Adams was plying his trade in amateur football just two years ago.
He played two reserves games for Swan Districts in the 2013 season but spent the majority of the year at Swan Athletic in the WA Amateur Football League.
The Falcons took a chance on him in 2014, which proved to be a masterstroke. West Perth received a player who cost them nothing, but developed into a WAFL force.
On Tuesday night at the AFL Draft, the club’s investment in Adams earned it $35,000 in draft fees as the Western Bulldogs took the imposing key position footballer at pick No. 35.
Adams described the moment as “bloody amazing”.
“I couldn’t speak for the first little bit, I was struggling with emotions overflowing; it was crazy,” he said.
The 22-year-old said he spoke with about 12 clubs but suspected the AFL’s most promising team would take him, given where the Bulldogs’ picks fell.
The obvious goal for the 192cm workhorse is to make his AFL debut this year. But he realises that’s far from guaranteed.
“My main goal is to focus on as much effort as I can every day to make a case for my debut,” he said. “Hopefully if I get that opportunity, I’ll take it one step at a time from there.”
As one of four mature-age WAFL recruits in this year’s draft, he considered state football a worthy preparation for the next level of the game.
He thought the mature bodies and ex-AFL talent in the league had hardened him for the rigours of the national competition.
His transition to professional football moves quickly.
On Friday, he will complete his induction, medical screening and meetings with the playing group.
On Saturday, training begins.
He is housed with a Bulldogs teammate initially but has the freedom to find his own place, move in with a host family or join a sharehouse with other players.
“I’ll probably just see how I go for the first few weeks with another player and work that out from there,” he said.
With much attention on his brother Luke, whose own football dreams were ended by violence in Northbridge in 2011 that nearly killed him, Adams talked of his older sibling’s support.
“I think he was expecting it… so he was just similar to everyone else (in the family), just stoked,” he said.
West Perth president Brett Raponi said the example of Adams and 2012 draftee Mark Hutchings would remind undrafted players at the club to continue striving for AFL football.
“The club and Bill Monaghan, in particular, have developed an outstanding track record for developing mature-age AFL players,” he said.