SITTING with his family at their local pub in Adelaide's east, 23-year-old Matthew Fuller watched on as the Western Bulldogs offered him a long-awaited AFL opportunity.
The left footer was a sure thing according to former Norwood coach Nathan Bassett, and the Bulldogs ensured the Essendon assistant's word remained solid by picking Fuller with pick No.42 at Thursday night's NAB AFL Draft.
Fuller and his family were joined at Mark Ricciuto's suburban hotel by fellow Redleg Orazio Fantasia, with Fantasia picked up by Essendon.
Speaking to AFL.com.au shortly after hearing his name read out, Fuller struggled to describe his overwhelming elation.
"A fair bit of excitement as you can imagine but a bit of relief too, all rolled into one," Fuller said.
"I was [at the pub] with my family and we were with Orazio Fantasia's family, so there was a fair bit of screaming and cheering going on.
"My phone has been going nuts – I had to come home to charge it because she was nearly out of battery."
Fuller said he was thrilled to be selected by the Bulldogs, who were the first AFL club to touch base during this year's SANFL finals campaign.
The club then flew him to Melbourne after his successful Grand Final victory over North Adelaide.
"They were the first to get in touch with me during the finals series and then flew me over after the Grand Final, so to get to a club that has showed so much faith in me is perfect," he said.
"All the coaches have called, a few of the guys too – they've already welcomed me in.
"They gave me an inkling that pick No.42 might be the one but I'm just so excited that it's happened."
With a senior SANFL premiership now under his belt, Fuller said he couldn't wait to test himself on the game's final and largest platform.
"That's really the only stage left for me to test myself both physically and mentally," he said.
"I don't care I'm heading interstate in the slightest, [I] couldn't care less, I'm just so happy to get this chance."