COLLINGWOOD draftee Trey Ruscoe is an unashamed 'Yes Man'.
This trait makes the young West Australian instantly coachable because he'll automatically try to do whatever his coaches ask him.
A classic example of this conformist attitude came during this year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
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Before then, the athletic Ruscoe had played all his football as a midfielder and a forward for both his school, Aquinas College, and WAFL club East Fremantle's colts.
A Fremantle fan until he was drafted last week, Ruscoe had modelled his game on Dockers superstar skipper Nat Fyfe, also a former Aquinas student.
Ruscoe first learned he'd been earmarked for a key defensive role in the national U18 championships when WA coach Peter Sumich approached him on a flight to Adelaide for a trial match.
"It sorta hit me. I just took it on board. Just waited until we landed to ask more questions about it, just to see how to play that role," Ruscoe told reporters at the Holden Centre on Tuesday.
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"I just did the best I could and I played well, so he kept me there for the rest of the comp."
A member of the title-winning WA team, Ruscoe impressed with his aerial skills to mark and spoil, his desperation to win one-on-one duels, along with his speed, agility and willingness to provide rebound run.
His rapid adaptation to the new role and his perceived scope for development prompted the Magpies to grab Ruscoe with their third pick, at No.55 overall, in last week's NAB AFL Draft.
New kids on the block. pic.twitter.com/QuyackPNb3— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) December 3, 2019
Ruscoe, who only turned 18 on November 3, is variously listed at 190cm and 192cm. In any case, he hopes he's still growing, which would help his chances of developing into a genuine key-position player.
Though drafted as a backman, he doesn't want to pigeon-hole himself into an exclusively defensive role.
"I'd like to maintain the flexibility of wherever I get put I can easily put my best foot forward and show what I've got. But wherever I get put I'm just going to try my best," he said.
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He also wants to complement his athleticism with more endurance, but for the time being he's still settling into life as a professional footballer.
In his first week in Melbourne he's living with the club's champion ruckman Brodie Grundy, and will move in with development coach Brad Gotch until the Christmas break, after which he'll make other arrangements.
Trey Ruscoe is presented with his jumper by former skipper Nick Maxwell. Picture: Getty Images
So, what's Grundy like as a host?
"He's good. He set me up with a room upstairs and I just watch Netflix and have the leftover lunch from (the club) for dinner. We made some homemade pizzas as well," Ruscoe said, prompting laughter.
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They're a good match personality-wise, too.
"I'm pretty chilled. I'm quite a yes-man kind of person, so whatever comes up I'm sort of easygoing and I'll do it. He seems like the same sort of person …
"On game day I'm more focused, more serious about it and keep to myself."
Ruscoe will wear the No.39 guernsey vacated by the delisted Ben Crocker, who has joined Adelaide as a rookie.
Collingwood's other draft picks were running machine midfielder Jay Rantall, who won the 2km time trial on Monday and will don the No.35 guernsey as the club's top draftee, and precision-kicking runner Trent Bianco, who will wear No.34, previously worn by promising onballer Tyler Brown.