WHEN draft prospect Jamarra Ugle-Hagan moved in with Western Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli last December during his training stint at the club, the talented teenager got more than he bargained for.
Not only was he there when the brilliant midfielder took over the club captaincy. But he also managed to snare some of Bontempelli's old gear, too.
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"We are the same shoe size, so I copped a fair few boots and runners. They fit perfectly," Ugle-Hagan told this week's Road to the Draft podcast.
"I just said I didn't have any boots, but I had them in my bag."
Ugle-Hagan looks set to be spending a lot more time with Bontempelli in the future. The Dogs have first access to the 194cm key forward at this year's NAB AFL Draft through the Next Generation Academy.
Although the future of NGAs is uncertain, clubs believe changes wouldn't be made to this year's system, meaning the Dogs are in pole position to snap up the goalkicker, with many viewing him as the best player in the 2020 draft pool.
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Ugle-Hagan split his two weeks at the Dogs last December by living with Bontempelli and fellow midfield star Josh Dunkley, learning plenty from the pair.
"I went in there and was a sponge and got everything off the coaches and players," he said.
"It was a good experience because I stayed with [Bontempelli] that week he got announced as captain, so it was a pretty exciting week for him and for me as well.
"I watched how they got there early and were always the last people to leave as well, so it just shows how hard they work and where it puts them."
Ugle-Hagan, like draftees around the country, is hoping for a return to football in the second half of the season. But scouts are already well aware of his abilities.
Last year, as a 17-year-old, he kicked 24 goals in nine games for the Oakleigh Chargers and played a key role in their NAB League premiership.
Before the season was suspended in March due to COVID-19, Ugle-Hagan had been played up the ground, including as a key defender in a Chargers' practice game, and he looked set for a dominant season.
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He said the Dogs have been a major factor in his development, and he hopes to join them via the draft.
"They've put a lot of time and effort into me, like coming after school and doing sessions twice a week and helping my game. It's an unreal experience and I'm very grateful to be a part of it," he said.
"Given how much they've invested in me I'd obviously like to play for the Dogs so hopefully I can get there. But there are no guarantees and I have to prepare myself for any possibility."
Even before this season Ugle-Hagan had taken the eye, blitzing the NAB League testing day where he recorded the best running vertical jump (93cm), ran the 20-metre sprint in 2.945 seconds and completed the Yo-Yo test at level 21.3 – a midfielder's level.
It's an athletic profile that has seen the Indigenous left-footer compared to Sydney champion Lance Franklin.
"I look up to him," he said.
"When I get compared with 'Buddy' I just take it as words, because they are just words. I don't pay much attention to all that, so obviously if that gets in my head then you'd probably find some pressure but I'm trying to enjoy my last year of junior footy."