New St Kilda recruit Nick Coffield didn’t have to wait long to find out how tough an AFL career would be.
Taken at pick eight by the Saints in the recent draft, this year’s Northern Knights skipper was pushed to his limits in his first training session.
“I shot myself in the foot,” he admitted. “I didn’t eat or drink enough and mid-session I had a bit of a spew. Other than that, it’s been good. I’ve made sure that I’ve been preparing for sessions well now.”
While it was a tough start for the 18-year-old, he’s quickly thrown himself into the AFL life and is thoroughly enjoying it.
He said that while the workload was a little tougher than he had expected, it wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle.
“I’ve absolutely loved it and all the boys have been so welcoming,” he said. “I’m making the transition from being an unemployed 18-year-old to a footballer.
“Growing up, what kid doesn’t want to play AFL?”
Coffield is training four to five days a week and said he was slowly getting used to the long hours. Still living at home at Eltham adds a few more hours to the day.
He’s getting up at 5am to make it to Seaford in time, meaning a lot of early nights.
He said that once the club moved back to Moorabbin, he might look at moving out of home to cut the travel time.
Coffield is training in the midfield group, despite spending the majority of the TAC Cup season playing for the Knights at half-back.
He averaged 21 possessions for the Knights this year and averaged 22 possessions while playing for Vic Metro at the national championships.
His maturity and leadership skills were something that also stood out in his last year of junior football.
Long term, Coffield said he saw himself as a big-bodied midfielder.
As well as learning St Kilda’s game-plans, Coffield is quickly getting to know his new teammates.
“I didn’t really know anyone before coming in,” he said. “I’d met Jade Gresham through the Knights, but that’s about it.
“I’m trying to sponge off everyone … it’s about trying to get knowledge off them.
“I didn’t know what to expect at training – I’m just giving it everything.”
Coffield said his focus was on making sure he did everything he could to be the best footballer possible.
While an AFL debut next year would be a dream, it’s not something he’s thinking of just yet.
“I’ve living in the moment and trying to embrace it all,” he said. “We are in early December, and come March or April, if I’ve been stressing about when I will get a game, I would be insane.
“I can’t wait to be in the midfield and get some games. It’s every kid’s dream.”