5 September 2019

Canberra’s Tom Green on the cusp of achieving a boyhood dream to play in the AFL

| Tim Gavel
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Tom Green. Photo: Supplied by GWS.

Tom Green an AFL star in the making. Photo: Supplied by GWS.

Tom Green is accustomed to meeting AFL Talent scouts keen to know every aspect of his life and personality including his upbringing and schooling.

For an 18-year-old it can be daunting, but it’s part and parcel of being a prospect in the build-up to the AFL Draft in November. And if you believe the hype, he has a chance of being picked up in the first round.

Tom has been plying his trade with the GWS Academy alongside his younger brother, Josh. He’s a product of Canberra’s Marist College, and his football ability is attracting significant attention.

Interest has been so intense that a number of clubs have visited Tom at home with his family. And he deserves the attention. His determination to succeed is backed by a strict off-season fitness regime, which resulted in the loss of eight kilos.

Interest intensified considerably in the wake of Tom’s performance with the Allies in the AFL National Under-18 Titles. He had 33 disposals in the match against the Victorian Metro team and consequently won selection in the All-Australian squad.

Tom says he has dared to visualise what it would be like to be picked up in November’s Draft. “I don’t want to think about it all the time, but at the same time it’s what I want to do, and as it gets closer it becomes a potential reality,” he says.

It’s something he blocked out earlier this year as he focused on preparing to play for the GWS Academy team. At the same time he was preparing for his Bachelor of Politics and International Relations degree at UC.

“I picked Politics and International Relations because I am very interested in history and other cultures. If I do play footy, I want to study as well. I’m really enjoying the course.”

If Tom is picked in the top ten in the Draft, he will create history by becoming the first player to do so while playing in Canberra. Phil Davis was selected at number ten in the 2008 Draft, but he had moved from Canberra to Adelaide when he was 14 years old prior to being drafted when he was 18 years of age.

Tom’s journey to this point has been less than conventional growing up in a range of cities across Australia. His father, Richard, was a helicopter pilot with Defence, and after much travel required by his father’s work, the family relocated to Canberra in 2012.

There was always an AFL presence though, as the family originated from Australian football heartland in Victoria. As Tom says, “I’ve grown up supporting Richmond, but I have been playing with GWS.” The Richmond connection is through Tom’s grandfather, Michael, who played in four premierships for the Tigers and was named in the Tigers team of the Century. Despite this connection Tom says, “I would prefer to play for the Giants because they have done so much for me over the years, but in the end I just want to play AFL.”

Despite the interest, Tom remains incredibly grounded, “I would be foolish to think it’s a fait accompli,” he says, and this approach is exactly what recruiters are looking for, coupled with an incredible ability to potentially play in the AFL.

Original Article published by Tim Gavel on The RiotACT.

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