FORMER Fish Creek youngster Sam Flanders is the latest local footballer to have his dreams come true when he was drafted by the Gold Coast Suns in last week’s National Draft.
Sam told The Mirror that he was excited about who would take him rather than nervous, but was super excited about the opportunities that were ahead of him at his new club with so many other young players being drafted to the Suns over the last couple of years.
Gold Coast held the first two picks in the draft and landed star midfield duo Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson before swapping picks with Carlton to land Sam at pick 11.
Sam had thought he might go to Carlton, and was a bit surprised when they passed on him. He also thought Sydney at pick five was a chance, but in the end he was more than happy to be going to the Gold Coast to start his league career.
He moved north on Saturday to meet the rest of his team-mates and get into pre-season training.
He said he would like to thank his mum Jodie and dad Alan, all his family and friends for all their support, the Fish Creek Football Netball Club and the people from Fish Creek and Foster areas who have followed his journey along the way.
Sam started playing football in the fourths and thirds at Fish Creek and also played under 11s and 13s for the Stringrays.
He moved to Newborough in Year 9 after attending Foster Secondary College and played for Moe and also three years at Gippsland Power under the coaching of Leigh Brown and Rhett McLennan were he really blossomed and stood out as a future star in the making.
Sam’s teammate at Gippsland Power Caleb Serong was also picked in the first round being selected with pick 8 by the Fremantle Dockers Football Club.
On Thursday night three more Gippsland Power players were picked up with Charlie Comben going to North Melbounre with pick 31, Brock Smith to Brisbane with pick 33 and Leo Connelly to St. Kilda with pick 64while Harry Pepper has been drafted as a rookie by Hawthorn.
It will be very interesting to follow the progress of another local South Gippsland footballer after Xavier Duursma was drafted last year by Port Adelaide.