JACOB Ballard is hoping to become another rookie-Ílist success story at Fremantle.

Ballard missed out on being drafted in 2012 but a year on he has joined a club where Aaron Sandilands, Michael Barlow, Paul Duffield, Lee Spurr, Matt de Boer and Clancee Pearce have carved out successful careers via the rookie list.

Standing at 188cm and 90kg, the 19-year-old midfielder is a year older and wiser after the biggest disappointment of his footballing life.  

"Everyone tells you not to get your hopes up and you try not to but deep down it's your dream to get drafted as an 18-year-old," Ballard said.

"I went to the draft combine and had a few clubs talking to me but then it didn't work out the way I wanted so that was pretty disappointing.

"I was pretty shattered for a week or so but then you can't dwell on it. You've just got to knuckle down and give it another crack next year and I was lucky enough to get picked up this year so I'm really happy."

Ballard used the disappointment of 2012 as fuel for the pursuit of his dream. Having been an athlete in his youth, specialising in hurdles, long jump and triple jump, Ballard employed the services of his former Diamond Creek athletics coach Chris Brennan to work on his speed.

Despite suffering some injury set backs, Ballard played five senior matches in 2013 for the Northern Blues in the VFL after starring for the Northern Knights in 2012 in the TAC Cup.

"Going through the pain of missing out gives me something deep down that I can always pull on," Ballard said.

"A lot of players have it a bit easier going straight in but now that I know how hard it is when you miss out, I think that will help now that I'm in the system."

It has been a whirlwind week for Ballard. Seven days ago he was working two jobs. He was a garden landscaper by day, and poured beers for the local clientele at the Grand Hotel in the north-eastern Melbourne suburb of Warrandyte by night.

He found out he had been drafted on his lunch break and he couldn't believe he was going to Fremantle.

After watching the Grand Final on television, he never dreamed he would be training with the Dockers as a rookie-listed player little more than two months later.

"Never would I have thought that," Ballard said.

"I always wanted to. That was always the dream but I didn't think that it would be a Grand Final side or it would be this soon. It was a massive surprise but I'm over the moon."