NEW Melbourne draftee Marty Hore could not bring himself to watch the NAB AFL Draft last Friday, with the disappointment of missing out on being selected in previous years still fresh on his mind.
Instead, Hore – a 22-year-old mature-age recruit from Collingwood's VFL team – was sitting out on the excavator on his family's dairy farm in Leitchville, near Echuca, when his father called him and gave him the good news.
NAB AFL DRAFT HUB Latest news, video and more
Hore was picked by Melbourne with pick No.56 in the draft.
"I thought if something happened my parents would ring me up and let me know," Hore said on Wednesday.
"I was working because we've got a bit going on at the farm at the moment and Dad rang and said you better come inside, Melbourne's just picked you.
"I got on the motorbike and raced inside and I was just over the moon.
"I couldn't get home quick enough. I couldn't believe it to be honest."
WHO SMASHED IT? Your club's draft verdict
Hore was one of the VFL's most accomplished defenders in 2018, displaying his ability to intercept the football and run and carry off half-back.
The 189cm, 89kg rebounding defender won back-to-back best and fairest awards for the Magpies' VFL team in 2017 and 2018, with his form compelling enough for Demons recruiter Jason Taylor to finally give him his chance.
DRAFT TRACKER Every pick, bios, highlights and Cal's comments
The Demons had been tracking his progress closely after he was first overlooked in the 2015 draft with Taylor and a carload of recruiters making the trip up to the dairy farm to visit with Hore and his family in that year.
Hore said he looked to recent examples of players being overlooked for the draft, including new teammate Bayley Fritsch and Magpie rookie revelation Brody Mihocek for inspiration when times got tough.
WHO'S LEAVING YOUR CLUB? All the latest retirements and delistings
"You kind of think is it all worth it sometimes," Hore said.
"But I've got plenty of mates down here now and I've got some lifelong friendships and I was still playing some pretty good footy, so I thought if I kept chipping away at it and kept improving my game something would come one day and luckily it did."
Hore is hopeful of playing senior football next season and believes his time in the Collingwood VFL system will be beneficial in that pursuit.
"It's (Melbourne footy club) just over the road (from Collingwood) so I'm driving in the same boom gate and so that should [make for] an easy transition," Hore said.
Melbourne's other draftees – Tom Sparrow (pick No.27), James Jordon (pick No.33), Aaron Nietschke (No.53), Toby Bedford (pick No.75) and rookie Kade Chandler also had their chance to speak to the media on Wednesday.
Here's a snippet of what they had to say:
South Adelaide (SANFL)
"I'm living with Max Gawn and his girlfriend Jess and he's a really good fella. I've got my own room upstairs so it's nice and cosy in there and Maxy's been showing me around Melbourne a bit," Sparrow said.
"He's taken me out for dinner a couple of times and I went out for dinner with (Collingwood defender) Lynden Dunn, (Hawthorn defender) James Frawley and James Harmes last night."
Oakleigh Chargers (TAC Cup)
"You see the boys out on the track and they're pretty full on but I've loved the way how easy going they are and they've just made my time here so good over the last few days and I can't wait for more," Jordon said.
"Angus Brayshaw, Jack Viney and even Michael Hibberd off half-back – I love the way they go about it so I'll definitely tag along with them and learn a few things."
Central Districts (SANFL)
"I'm from a place about 35 minutes north of the Barossa Valley so I live on a farm near Kapunda so it's a bit different to Melbourne but I'm getting used to it," Nietschke said.
"We've got sheep and a few cattle and crops like barley, wheat and oats. Things changed pretty quickly from Friday being at home to being in Melbourne on Saturday night in Melbourne."
Dandenong Stingrays (TAC Cup)
Melbourne Next Generation Academy
"Being part of the NGA has made things so much easier. The transition coming in at the start of the year for a week during the pre-season last year, so I met a lot of the boys then," Bedford said.
"Throughout the year I've modelled myself on Dan Rioli as a forward pressure player and 'Tippa' (Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti)."
"I try to be a cross between Jamie Elliott as a high-leaping small forward and try to have the tackle pressure of Devon Smith," Chandler said.