Recent Year 12 graduate, Patrick Naish, was selected to play for Richmond in Friday's National AFL Draft.
In many ways, it's a fairytale ending for Pat, who is both a Tigers fan and the son of former Tigers player, Chris Naish. As a much-anticipated Father-Son prospect, Pat had a number of opportunities this year to work closely with players at Richmond, even being taken out for lunch on his 18th birthday by captain, Trent Cotchin.
On the eve of the draft, however, Pat had other concerns. While he admitted having some nerves, his real worries weren't about his own AFL prospects.
"I'm more worried about my mates than me, to be honest," said Pat on Thursday. When asked why, he revealed that it was because they were going into the draft with a lot more uncertainty.
Despite being a skilled and celebrated player for Vic Metro and Northern Knights, Pat was all-too-aware that having the Father-Son card, while not absolute certainty, was a privilege that gave him an edge throughout the development process. This attitude doesn't surprise anyone at the School, least of all his footy coach Roger Gill, who said that although Pat was in the AFL spotlight, he put just as much into the school footy team as he did the state and AFL development team.
"There are no airs or graces about him, no expectation of being treated differently. He was always just one of the boys on match day and he loved playing with his mates," Mr Gill said.
So bask it all up, Pat. We're proud of your AFL selection, but we're really proud of the humble and self-aware young man you are.
Photo Source: AFL Photos.