PORT Lincoln speedster Johann Wagner will join Port Adelaide as a rookie-listed player after winning Foxtel's reality television series The Recruit on Wednesday night in Melbourne.
Wagner, currently on SANFL team Central District's list, was given his choice of clubs after Gold Coast, Greater Western Sydney and the Power elected to nominate him as a draft selection.
Wagner was given a short time to pick which club he would play for but was quick to decide he would remain in his home state and start his career at the Power.
The half-forward, who was praised for his finishing abilities and penetration in play by Recruit coach Michael Voss, said geography wasn't the only factor in his choice.
"The direction they're going in, the game-style they play, where I can fit in … I had gone over all the clubs and made a list so if Port hadn't picked I'd have other ones to decide on," Wagner told AFL.com.au.
"When the light came on [on the Power's desk] I was pretty stoked and I was just happy to pick them and be a part of them."
Wagner acknowledged he possibly could have been granted earlier senior opportunities had he chosen the Suns or Giants over the current preliminary finalists.
But having worked closely with Power high performance manager Darren Burgess, who was conditioning coach on the show, Wagner believed he would be best off at Alberton.
"I thought, 'Where am I going to get the best out of my footy?'," he said.
"I've been coached by 'Burgo' and the way he talks, I can listen to him for hours and I reckon my body is going to be the best with 'Burgo' and Port Adelaide so that's the reason I picked them.
"It may be harder to get a game there but you've got to earn your stripes."
The winner of the series was determined in a live finale at Crown Casino where a special NAB AFL Draft meeting was held and attended by two people from each club.
The final three contestants were voted on a 3-2-1 basis by all 18 clubs, which determined Wagner the winner from AIS volleyballer Bradie Foster.
The third finalist, midfielder Chris Moreland, was delisted after polling the fewest votes.
The aim of the program was to test grassroots footballers against the physical and mental challenges faced by AFL players to put them in a position to launch an elite footballing career.
The category B rookie spot secured by Wagner won't cost the Power a draft pick.
To qualify for the competition, players had to be 20 years of age on or before 31 December 2013 and may not have been on an AFL primary or rookie list at any time previously in their career or on a VFL, SANFL or WAFL club list in 2012 and 2013.
Potential draftees were under the direction of three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player Voss, former Hawthorn player Ben Dixon, Burgess and Brisbane Lions’ psychology coach Leigh Russell.
Home town: Port Lincoln, South Australia