JAI SHEAHAN, Melbourne’s first selection in the NAB AFL Rookie Draft, says another recent appointee, midfield development coach Aaron Greaves, has already played a big part in his career.
Sheahan said his former Geelong Falcons coach had worked closely with him throughout 2011.
“Aaron Greaves was my coach, and he was a massive influence on my game this year. He probably turned my year around and made me to where I am now,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“I got pretty close to Aaron during the year. He’s a really good fella and he taught me a lot.
“I spoke to him a fair bit – prior to the Draft and the Rookie Draft. He gave me advice about the things I needed to work on.
“Once I got here, [he told me] how I needed to train, which was really helpful.”
Sheahan was surprisingly overlooked in last month’s NAB AFL Draft, but rapt when he was the sixth player called out in the Rookie Draft.
“It was disappointing to miss out on the Draft, but probably 20 minutes after the Draft, I got a call from Melbourne asking me to come down and train and try out,” he said.
“It was a bit of a booster after that, and it got the spirits up a bit.
“To get [my name] called out was a massive thrill. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, play football. For it finally to come true was really good.”
A key forward with the Falcons, Sheahan has also been earmarked for a position down back with the Demons.
He said having trained with Melbourne before the Rookie Draft had been positive.
“It was a bit of an introduction – to rock up on the first day is always a bit daunting, but if you’re here for a couple of weeks, you get to know a few blokes,” he said.
“The training has been solid, but it’s a dream and [playing in the] AFL is what I want to do.
“It’s really good, and I’m enjoying it.”
Sheahan has already “set the limits high” and wants to play senior football in 2012, but for now, he is relishing the opportunity to be at an AFL club.
“It’s unreal. It’s always been a dream to get to an AFL club and to be here is pretty surreal, so it’s good,” he said.
“I [found out I was drafted when I] was watching it on the computer with my family, and then I was scrolling down the screen and I saw my name pop up.
“I didn’t know what to think.”