Bytestories – Story of the month

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Draft Day Manoeuvring

By Brandon Ellis (Richmond FC)

The live telecast of the AFL draft was just about to start and I thought to myself: “Why is Marty (my manager) ringing me now?” I nervously picked up the phone and my jaw dropped with his news…

The date was Thursday, November 24th 2011 and I was at my house with about forty of my close friends and family to see where I was going to be playing the next year. I’d had a good year playing for the Calder Cannons and I’d already had chats with Fremantle so I was feeling confident.

Recruiters from Fremantle had visited me at home on the Tuesday so I was really expecting to get drafted by them, and to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled about moving interstate and I’d even started saying my goodbyes.

So, the plan was to watch the draft on TV and simply wait for my name to come up. However, everything changed when Marty called and told me straight up: “You’re going to the Tigers”.

“You’re serious?”

Everyone in the room was tuned into the conversation, and as soon as the news was announced things went crazy; with everyone screaming, yelling and tackling me! It was a pretty special moment. I had no idea that Richmond was secretly planning this move so it came as a massive surprise.

From then on things moved at lightning pace, with the players and Damien Hardwick (coach) welcoming me aboard over the phone. Two days later I went down to the club for a welcoming BBQ and the next day I was on a plane to Arizona for the pre-season training camp.

What a week.

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