CARLTON'S American rookie Matt Korcheck says countrymen Jason Holmes and Mason Cox inspired him to come to Australia and try to forge an AFL career.
Holmes debuted for St Kilda in round 21 last season in the club's draw against Geelong and was impressive in the ruck, having 34 hit-outs, before playing the final two games of 2015.
Cox is yet to play a senior game for Collingwood but did feature in last season's NAB Cup campaign and played some impressive footy in the VFL towards the end of 2015.
"Jason Holmes, another American that came over was a big motivation and Mason Cox … those guys motivated me to get out here and try something new and really push myself," Korcheck told SEN on Friday.
Korcheck said his family was shocked when he told them he wanted to move to the other side of the world to play Australian rules football.
"I think when I brought it up with them at first they were like ‘what do you mean you want to move to Australia?’, and I said ‘I really want to do this’," he said.
"They’re really excited about it and know it’s a good opportunity for them to visit Australia now – they’re really happy about it."
With a college basketball background, the 208cm Korcheck says the physical nature of the game is what attracted him to it the most.
"It’s exciting to me, I love it, my favourite part of the game is the tackling," he said.
"As a basketball player you always get called for the little tic-tac fouls when you barely touch someone and then they blow the whistle and you get angry.
"I’ve been in the club every day lifting weights and doing some running – trying to get past the soreness stages before we start pre-season."
While he may have the physique to make it, Korcheck knows his biggest hurdle will be conquering the Sherrin, and he'll been working hard every day to make sure his skills have improved by the time pre-season training starts on November 9.
"I’m doing all right – it probably looks like I’m chasing a chicken around," he laughed.
"I think that it (kicking) is something I need to keep working on, it’s a big part of the game, but I think it comes pretty naturally to me.
"That being said I still need to do a lot of work in that area, it’s nowhere near where it needs to be, but it feels pretty good as a beginner."