A three-time premiership player at the age of 19, Rhyan Mansell has already had a football career many would dream of.
Following an invitation to the Rookie Me draft combine at the end of last season, the Northern Bombers and Tasmania Devils live-wire is set to join SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens in 2020.
A club with an already strong Tasmanian flavour with the likes of Sam and Jesse Lonergan and Jamieson House on their list for the 2019 season, Mansell said the opportunity had been a year in the making.
"Last year after the draft I missed out which was pretty unfortunate and I was down on myself, Sam Lonergan, who was the former coach of Woodville, contacted my old man the next morning and was seeing if I was keen to go over," he said.
"Obviously things didn't happen there so I played with the Tassie Devils as an over-ager in the new NAB League. At the end of this season, I went over, met with Woodville, trained with the boys and really enjoyed it over there.
"I met with a few other teams but Woodville was the team I really enjoyed."
After missing out on selection in last year's draft, Mansell played in a variety of roles for his two sides throughout 2019 and is looking to test himself with the move - one that he sees as permanent.
"When I didn't get drafted I sort of had a think about everything. I sat down with my dad and I talked to him and said, 'I just want to play football at the highest level,' and I see SANFL as one of the highest competitions in Australia behind the AFL."
"The way I think of it is I'm moving over there for good. If I get picked up through the SANFL into the AFL system well that's just a bonus but I'm pretty happy if I go and have a crack to stay over there.
"You never know, I may get picked up or play lots of games in league football over there."
Completing an AFL SportsReady traineeship at Riverside High School, Mansell said that while Taylor Whitford was aware of his plans and helped them eventuate, telling his coach and mentor was tough.
"I talked to Taylor about it mid-to-late during the year. He played in the SANFL when he was younger and he's backed me in since I first told him and he supports me.
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"It was pretty hard telling him actually because I've been pretty close with him over the last few years but he's fully behind me and supportive of me.
"It was hard telling the rest of the boys. Obviously winning three premierships with the group, as players we've played together for three years but they've all got my back and really want to see me go places so I want to see it pay off one day."
Since making his senior debut for the Bombers in 2017, Mansell has excelled in defence, learning from the likes of former teammate, Melbourne's Jay Lockhart who has a forged a path that raises intrigue.
"I used to get along with Jay really well when we played down back with each other at North Launnie and I've always looked up to him.
"Even when I was younger and not playing seniors, I looked up to him as a player I wanted to be like and I'd love to follow the same path that Jay has followed."
A major part of the Devils' inaugural season, Mansell played 13 matches for his state restricting him to only five for the Bombers but developing a solid reputation and playing some strong football throughout the year.
"I thought I started off the season really well, sort of had a down patch during the middle of the year and I feel like I came back and played a really strong finals series.
"When the Devils season finished, I really wanted to finish strong with North Launceston, go out with a good win and obviously that panned out really well so I'm happy with that."
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