Former Geelong utility Jackson Thurlow began life as a Sydney player on Monday with a tough pre-season training session.
Entering his seventh year in the AFL system, the Launceston product returned to the track with the Swans’ first-to-four-year players in a bid to adapt to the fresh environnement as quickly as possible.
Thurlow, 24, landed at the SCG – the same place he witnessed his first live AFL encounter years earlier – during the trade period.
“That was a really tough first session with the boys and its really good to get to know some of the younger guys,” he said.
“It’s a good way to come into a new club, you want to get stuck in as soon as you can and try and earn the respect of the footy club.
“It’s a whole new environment for me, a whole new game plan so to come back early, it’s a good way for me to learn that process and then try and get on top of that as quick as possible.”
Thurlow was drafted from Launceston by Geelong with pick 16 in the 2012 national draft, but had a feeling his time was up at Kardinia Park after 46 matches and some frank conversations.
He managed just seven senior games in 2018 and said the Cats were open to him exploring other opportunities.
“You sort of get an inkling when you’re in and out of the team and you’re out of contract that something could potentially play out the way it was, but we had some really honest conversations – myself, Chris Scott and Stephen Wells – and we were all pretty open to where my future was,” Thurlow said.
“I was really rapt when I got the call from [Sydney recruiter Kinnear Beatson] and my manager. It was a pretty quiet trade period for me, I was sort of hoping something would arise and I didn’t really know it was going to be Sydney.
“To be playing here with some familiar faces – [Steve Johnson’s here], Robbie Fox he’s a Tassie boy so it’s going to be a really good club.”
Thurlow said he is keen for a second chance and said that he will more than likely be playing an intercepting role off half-back or running along the win in 2019.
He said hopefully he will takes success like some may other recycled players.
“You hear about the culture and the way this footy club has been built over the past 20 or 30 years, it's a real powerhouse,” Thurlow said.
“The other thing you hear from the outside is that the Swans have got a real knack for investing in good people, so coming to the club you know you're going to be surrounded those sorts of people. Plus, a lot of guys that have left Geelong in recent years have all had some really good success.
“Nathan Vardy left (for West Coast) and he won a flag, Josh Caddy left (for Richmond) and he won a flag, and even Joel Hamling left (for the Western Bulldogs) and he won a flag.
“It's a credit to Geelong for the way they've built their footy club as well, so I think coming here can help develop me even more.”
a lot of guys that have left Geelong in recent years have all had some really good success.Jackson Thurlow