AT FIRST, Jye Amiss wasn't so sure. He was five years old, and with three older brothers already. The idea of sharing his mum with more kids took some getting used to.
It was 2008 when Amiss' mum Janette decided to start being a foster parent, with some children coming into her house for shorter stays, others for longer more permanent placements. Across the years the household has been home to 21 foster children, with Amiss, who is one of the standout tall forwards in this year's NAB AFL Draft, growing to love the connections his family has developed with the kids who have come into his life.
"Definitely at the start with kids coming into the family I was a bit like 'Hey, that's my mum, go away'. But as I've gotten older and matured they've come in and I'm really accepting of everyone. I see them as my brothers and sisters so I try to do as much as I can with them when I'm at home," Amiss told AFL.com.au.
Amiss lives with his mum and stepfather Tyrone in Busselton, a two-and-a-half hour drive from Perth. The East Perth prospect's older brothers have moved out, but the house remains busy with six foster children.
One girl has been with them for 10 years, a group of four siblings for six years and another boy for nearly four years, with all set to be there until they reach adulthood. For Amiss, it has meant getting to know a range of children from different upbringings, backgrounds and environments, each imparting their experiences on him in their own way.
"Mum has done fostering for quite a while and I've been around it for pretty much most of my life," he said.
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"We've had kids who have come in on respite and we've also had kids who have been with us long term. Usually when school's on and I've got footy training it can be hard to fit in that time with them but when I am home I try to spend as much of it as I can in helping them out with their homework, talking and having a kick with them.
"It's definitely made me so grateful for how I've been brought up compared to how they've been brought up. In some cases it's been pretty extreme and seeing how they can go from being in that state to how we've got them is quite surprising and I'm so thankful that I have a family that is around me and supports me 100 per cent of the time."
It looms as an excited household in a month's time, with Amiss in the mix as a top-10 pick at November's NAB AFL Draft after an outstanding colts season that saw him boot 51 goals. The left-footer's stocks grew as the season went on, with his smarts around goal, strength on the lead and inside-50 presence quickly catching the eye of scouts.
"At the start of the year I was coming in with a goal to play in the state team and to average more than three goals. I started building from the start of the season and tried to keep that consistency going. I wanted to follow it through and it was surprising I could keep going," he said.
Even more surprising when you consider the travel Amiss has had to undertake this season to get his draft dreams off the ground. During Western Australia's state program, Amiss would leave school early and head to Perth for training and return later that night after a five-hour round trip. And on the weekends, it would be another roadtrip to Perth and back for games.
By the end a level of fatigue set in, with his season ending with a knee injury in Western Australia's under-19s clash with South Australia at Optus Stadium on Grand Final day. By then, however, Amiss had shown recruiters his bag of tricks, having only started playing as a key forward at the start of last year.
Amiss has also made sure he is on target. He has studied goalkickers from around the AFL to devise his own steady, straightforward and streamlined approach to goal that has made him one of the most accurate shots at goal to come through the draft system in recent years.
"I watched a lot of Josh Kennedy at West Coast, a lot of the stuff that he does behind the ball and also his goalkicking routine and how much he changed going from a stutter step to a smooth flowing action and I tried to do something with mine," he said. "I finally came to one that worked and during that time there's also been a lot of little modifications but I finally found something that works for me."