With the National Draft around the corner, Brownlow Medallist Paddy Dangerfield has reflected on his strange circumstances entering the AFL back in 2008.
Dangerfield entered the draft as a bottom-ager and as such hadn’t completed year 12 to that point.
The current AFL Players Association President decided finishing school in Victoria was a must for him and said Adelaide knew that when they took him at pick 10.
“For me, it was a bit different because I’d stipulated to clubs that if you were to pick me, I was going to stay in Victoria because I wanted to finish school,” Dangerfield told SEN’s Time On.
“That was the most important thing for me, and Adelaide knew that as well as did the other clubs.
“Adelaide had no issues with that so for me it was the preseason for the 2008 year that I did and then end of January I flew back and started year 12 in Victoria and living at home.”
Dangerfield said making the transition to living in South Australia the following year was difficult for him.
“So it wasn’t full-time until the following season, but it shakes you up because you go from an environment where you’re really comfortable and living at home and then you’re living with teammates and you’ve got to look after yourself,” he said.
“Things that you take for granted sneak up on you and because you’re so fatigued from training and you’re not exposed to it before, it was tough.
“Clubs now transition their players a lot better than we did back then.”
Dangerfield played two games in that 2008 season, despite spending the year in Victoria.
“It was a unique situation and I got a call from Neil Craig on a Wednesday afternoon and he said we’re going to play you this coming weekend against Essendon,” he said.
“I’d have a few good games in the TAC Cup and then they decided to take the risk.
“Looking back on it now, it would’ve been an interesting situation for other players to select a player who hadn’t trained (with the club) all year and all of a sudden is playing.
“I literally rocked up to the hotel in St Kilda on Friday afternoon and played at Etihad the next day.
“It was a bizarre situation to find myself in.”