LAST Wednesday was the longest day of Ryan Angwin’s life waiting to see if he would be drafted to an AFL club.
His lifelong dream came true at about 8.30pm when the Greater Western Giants called his name out with pick 18 of the National Draft.
When Ryan’s name was called out, he had his head inside the family fridge getting a drink of chocolate milk, and it nearly went everywhere.
He was surprised his name was called so early, not expecting to be picked up until much later in the draft, if at all; and was also surprised that the Giants had taken him as he only spoke to them on a couple of occasions during the year. He had thought either Melbourne or Freemantle were a more realistic destination with a fair bit of contact from them.
A surprise phone call from Giant’s coach Leon Cameron made it all real and when a text message came through from senior player Phil Davis it was suddenly very real that his journey in the big time had begun.
Last Thursday Ryan had to attend a media conference at Marvell Stadium and he met up with his new team-mates who had also been drafted.
He flew out to Sydney on Sunday for a week before returning home for Christmas with his family. He will return to Sydney early in the new year for what will be his first pre-season with his new club.
He will be staying with the other young players at some apartments called Brekky Point where a lot of other players live.
Ryan’s football journey started with Auskick at Foster, before playing with the Stingrays and then moving on to Foster 4ths and 3rds teams.
He played one season at Gippsland Power as a bottom age player in the under 18s, before being named captain last season. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 the season was cancelled.
He managed to play one game for Leongatha under 18s before that competition had to be cancelled too. He trained with the club for about six weeks before resorting to training with a couple of mates Lachie Rathjen and Oliver Calcott at the Foster oval during the year.
He was also fortunate to train with former Foster and now Port Adelaide player Xavier Duursma for about four weeks during the year which he really enjoyed and he learned a lot from Xavier.
Ryan has done a power of work lifting weights as well, putting on about eight kilograms during the year, but he is still a lightly framed 74 kgs. No doubt a lot more weight sessions are ahead of him over the coming seasons.
He told The Mirror that he is hoping to play his first game this season but is more than happy to develop and do whatever the club wants him to do.
Ryan could start off playing for the Giant’s team in the new VFL competition next season. The name of the new competition has not been finalised yet.
AFL clubs Brisbane, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, Gold Coast, GWS, North Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs (as Footscray) will all be a part of the newly formed competition.
Sandringham (St Kilda), Box Hill (Hawthorn) and Casey (Melbourne) will be the three aligned clubs from the VFL that will continue, while eight stand-alones from the existing VFL will be re-introduced, including Coburg, Frankston, Port Melbourne, Werribee and Williamstown.
The quietly spoken Ryan who turned 18 last Saturday, said he would like to thank his mum Pauline and dad Robert for all the support they have given him and also his family. He did mention he wanted to thank his mates Lachie and Oliver who never missed a session with him during the year, he really appreciated their help. He also wanted to mention the Foster community who have really supported him in his quest to realise his dream.
Ryan’s family have had a long association with the Foster Football Netball Club with both Rob and Pauline having decorated careers of their own.
“Foster’s Footy Factory” has well and truly kept producing with the likes of Brett Eddy and Xavier Duursma both being drafted by Port Adelaide, Jack Weston, Geelong and Jordan Staley to St. Kilda in recent years. Fish Creek’s Sam Flanders also plays for the Gold Coast Suns so the district has certainly put the old, now defunct Alberton Football League in the spotlight in recent years.
Good luck Ryan, enjoy what lies ahead, and no doubt a lot of locals will eagerly await your first game in the big league.