Templeton composed in debut game

``DON'T play the game in your head before you get out there''.

That's a key piece of advice that former Burnie Docker Eli Templeton got from senior teammates such as St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt ahead of his AFL debut on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium against Melbourne.

St Kilda's Eli Templeton played well on debut.

St Kilda's Eli Templeton played well on debut.

It was advice the 18-year-old took on board, as he looked composed in a first game that saw him him kick 1.1 from 10 touches and four marks in the Saints' win.

Templeton, who has got his chance in the big time via the rookie list after surprisingly being overlooked in the national draft, admitted that he wasn't as nervous as he thought he may be.

``There's no other feeling like it really, to run out to the home song with the crowd cheering you on, so it was a pretty special moment and one I'll never forget,'' Templeton told  The Examiner  yesterday.

``In the last five minutes, when we were up by about three goals, just to look into the crowd and hear them singing `` When The Saints Go Marching In '', that was just an unbelievable feeling.

``With my goal, there was a two versus one and the ball spilt out, and [I think] it was a one-handed pick-up. I thought there was a bit of pressure behind me, so I gave the handball off to Josh Saunders, which wasn't the best handball.

``I kept on running forward and Saundo handballed over his shoulder, and before I knew it I was running into an open goal, it all happened pretty quick. 

``Once the boys got around me, that's when it hit that I'd kicked an AFL goal.

``To come away with a win, and sing the song after the match, was unbelievable.''

Templeton, who due to his energetic nature and mop of blond hair has already achieved a cult status with Saints supporters, said he was ``happy'' with his performance, and believed he played his role for the team, especially when it came to applying forward pressure.

``It's a big step up from the TSL, just with the pace of the game, but I thought I adjusted well once I found my feet.''