CALLUM Coleman-Jones is stoked to start his AFL career at Richmond with premiership midfielder, Norm Smith Medallist and Brownlow winner Dustin Martin.
But it is the Tigers’ premiership ruckman Toby Nankervis that Coleman-Jones is most looking forward to meeting and going head-to-head with at training.
Richmond selected the Sturt 201cm, 98kg ruckman/forward with pick 20 at the AFL national draft on Friday night.
Speaking to the Advertiser after the Tigers called out his name, the SA under-18 captain could not believe his luck when the reigning premiers picked him.
“Being a tall bloke, getting to know Toby Nankervis is definitely something I want to do and learn his craft,” Coleman-Jones, 18, says.
“He’s (Nankervis) had a ripper year as well, so I definitely want to meet him.
“It’s pretty unreal.
“I couldn’t ask for a better team to be drafted to after they just won the premiership.
“I couldn’t be more stoked to go over to Melbourne and get started.”
Coleman-Jones might, however, ask Martin to teach him how to master the famous “fend-off”
“Wouldn’t hurt learning that from him (Martin),” Coleman-Jones said with a laugh.
Coleman-Jones stood out with SA during this year’s national carnival and although he was hampered by a knee injury, he averaged 17 disposals and 19 hit-outs.
It led to his selection in the All-Australian under-18 side.
The small tear in his left patella cut his season short and forced him to undergo minor surgery in August.
But Coleman-Jones, who watched the draft at home in Adelaide with family and friends, says the knee is fine and he is keen to get over to Punt Rd and add depth to the Tigers’ list.
“It’s been about 9-10 weeks post-operation and it wasn’t a major operation, so it’s feeling good,” Coleman-Jones said.
“I think my contested marking and versatility around the ground are my strengths.
“The family was pretty happy when my name got called out.
“They are fine with me moving away especially because it’s in Melbourne.
“It’s only a 50-minute flight from Adelaide, so I think they are pretty happy with it.”