IT MAKES sense that Fischer McAsey, who has grown up a lifelong Western Bulldogs fan, would idolise Aaron Naughton.
McAsey is a versatile, talented tall prospect who can play as a key position at both ends of the ground. Marking, like Naughton, is McAsey's key attribute.
But it was another Bulldog who first took McAsey's eye as he fell in love with the red, white and blue.
>> The 2019 NAB AFL Draft runs from November 27-28. Follow all the latest news in the draft hub
"I was a really passionate fan with the Doggies when I was about five years old, and I'd just write letters to players in my spare time," he told AFL.com.au.
"I wrote one to Matthew Boyd and he wasn't a [really] popular player at the time and he wrote back and gave me a hat and scarf. Ever since then we became pen pals and I met him at a few family days and things, which was nice."
The talented Sandringham Dragons prospect shapes as perhaps the first key-position player picked at next month's NAB AFL Draft.
PHANTOM FORM GUIDE Cal Twomey's October update
But it was the determined midfielder Boyd, an ex-skipper of the club and member of the Dogs' breakthrough 2016 premiership team, who forged a bond with McAsey in his youth.
"He did remember me from the letters so it was a good experience as a young kid," he said.
"The impact you can have on young kids [is huge]. They look up to AFL players and he really inspired me, so I'd like to be an inspiration to young kids if I can get onto an AFL list."
That step is only weeks away.
McAsey ended the season in a moonboot, suffering a stress fracture in his foot and forcing him to miss the Dragons' end to the NAB League season. He was also sidelined for the NAB AFL Draft Combine.
INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Your club's latest picks
But before that McAsey had established his credentials, starting the year as a key back who could leave his man, cut off forward entries and get things going his side's way.
He showed that in Vic Metro's under-18 carnival, where he was named his side's most valuable player ahead of top fancies Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson after averaging 14.5 disposals (at 74 per cent efficiency) and six marks a game.
But McAsey also shifted forward at stages after the national carnival, showing an appetite for busting packs and throwing himself at the ball.
"My main strengths are my contested marking. If that's as a back, then I like to roll off and intercept," he said.
KEY DATES What's coming up next in the off-season?
"But if it's as a forward then just try to crash packs and create a contest. I pride myself on being clean with my hands.
"As far as my best position, I find I'm a bit more consistent as a defender at this stage but maybe my best footy playing as a forward I can impact games more. It really depends on the club's needs in terms of where they put me."