WHEN Logan Young moved to Victoria this year to pursue his dream of getting drafted, the tall midfielder set his mind to be open to anything in season 2021. Playing for four different teams across another shortened and disrupted COVID-19 campaign ticked that box.
After being overlooked in last year's NAB AFL Draft after playing with Claremont in Western Australia, Young decided to try his luck and shift to Melbourne, where he joined the Sandringham Dragons in the NAB League and linked up with the Sandringham Zebras VFL side as well.
It was part of a plan Young devised along with his father, leading player agent Colin Young, to further develop his game after getting feedback from clubs last season.
"It's the best decision I've ever made to come to Melbourne. The night after the draft last year I went out to dinner with dad to talk about what I wanted to do," Young said.
"We talked about it and St Kilda proposed for me to play a few games at Zebras and then the rest at Dragons.
"I got to live with Bradley Hill for three months which was great learning to just see what he does in his days off and how he goes about balancing training with his outside life. He was a great role model, we went for a few training sessions with him and the good thing is Chris Mayne lives just down the road from him and he was a really good mentor for me as well."
The experiences kept coming. The 190cm ball-getter was called up to play for North Melbourne's VFL side early in the season, then was selected in the Colgate Young Guns game featuring under-23s players picked by recruiters.
He then played for Sydney's VFL side as a top-up player, matching it with and against AFL-listed players from around the competition before footy in Victoria was put on pause again.
"It was sick playing against one of my favourite players in Tom Green, he was an absolute freak to play on. It was a great learning opportunity there," Young said.
"I've learned so much this year. From the very first training at Dragons with different techniques to different aspects of my game I need to work on. Then going on to play in the bigger bodies and against AFL bodies you play against, their running patterns.
"I want to base my game around Tom Green because I like the contested footy but just the way he gets rid of the ball and his running patterns as well. I keep a diary of what I've learnt after each game and it's remarkable – it's pretty much full now."
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The message from clubs last year was Young had to tidy his disposal efficiency, work on his outside game and take a step against bigger bodies. The 19-year-old feels this year has shown his improvement and is hopeful a club takes a shot at him second time around, with a former West Coast midfielder providing some inspiration.
"I'm never going to give up on trying to get an opportunity in the AFL. Regardless of when it is or however it is, I've been told it's not about when you make it, it's about the journey and how you get there," Young said.
"I've been talking to a few clubs who see me as a Matt Priddis and say it may not be this year but when you get there you'll be there for a long time so that's what's driving me. Last year I missed it and it killed me. But I'm glad I missed last year because I know with the development this year I'm in a better place and have worked on the things that saw me miss last year."