Launceston product James Leake has claimed there are no limits to what he can achieve in the AFL after going pick 17 in the national draft.
Speaking with The Examiner, the 18-year-old from St Patrick's College was unsure where he might have been drafted heading into the night after being interviewed by all 18 clubs, making the experience a mixture of excitement and nervousness.
That was until the league's newest team, the GWS Giants, announced his name.
"Coming in I had no idea where I was going, so you just sit there and watch," he said.
"To see a few of my mates Colby (McKercher) and Ryley (Sanders) get called was pretty special and then for me it was just sitting there waiting and watching.
"Then it got around to GWS pick 17 and I was lucky enough to go. I was quite nervous at the time but now that it's over I just feel at peace, it's awesome."
Joining a team which rose from a slow start to the season to end up finishing just one-point down to the eventual premiers in a classic preliminary final, the Launceston TSL graduate discussed what he can bring to help the Giants go one or two steps further.
"They're super team obviously, and went really close making the grand final, but I think for me, I'll just compete really well in the air and at ground level and I think that's probably my one-wood," he said.
"That should hold me in good stead and that along with my footy nous and my versatility are also things I can bring to the table and hopefully make me a valued member of the team."
Already aware that he could be returning to Launceston next year for the Giants' round-13 clash with Hawthorn at UTAS Stadium, Leake said he was excited to move to Sydney's west and surround himself with the club's support.
"Being from Tasmania, you're always aware of the fact that you're going to have to move away to play football, so I just see it as a great opportunity to be honest," he said.
"Moving away from home and moving into a house with a few other Allies boys will be pretty cool and hopefully I can get to work and get stuck into it."
There is no shortage of exciting firepower at coach Adam Kingsley's disposal, but Leake named the trio which he was most looking forward to sharing the field with.
"Toby Greene is probably an obvious to be honest, like he's someone that I've watched as a kid and he's always been a superstar of the comp," he said.
"Him being captain as well is the obvious one, but also Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly are both jets and every time I've watched them throughout my childhood, they're the main three that I'll look at and go, 'wow'."
"It's really special. I think it hasn't sunk in just yet, but to have three Launnie boys picked up in the first round of the draft was pretty special," Leake said.
"And then hopefully looking forward to today and tomorrow we can get a few other boys drafted which would be unreal for Tassie, I think it's something that we should be very proud of as a state."
With fellow Launceston tall Arie Schoenmaker expected to be picked early on Tuesday night, Hobart's Jack Callinan and the North-West Coast's Heath Ollington and Geordie Payne are also chances to be selected.
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