The transition from basketball star to footballer is complete for Jack Petruccelle.
A year ago, Petruccelle had a basketball career in his grasp but made the decision to switch to football.
His impact with the Northern Knights was instant and he made AFL selectors sit up and take notice.
On Friday, the Epping resident was selected by West Coast at pick 38 in the AFL national draft.
“This is the reason why I made the switch to football,” Petruccelle said on Sunday.
“It’s an amazing once-in-a-lifetime event. I watched it [the draft] with my family and once my name was called out, my mates started piling in.
“My phone was blowing up with Eagles players messaging me.”
Petruccelle said while he had spoken to the Eagles a few times during the year, he was unsure how draft night would play out.
He said both his parents were proud and rapt for him to get the opportunity to play AFL, but it was tinged with sadness because he was moving across to the other side of the country.
“They just want me to have success.”
He didn’t have long to let the news settle in, leaving for Perth on Sunday afternoon.
With only one season of focusing on football under his belt, Petruccelle knows he has a lot of work ahead of him.
“I had a pretty up and down season this year, but I had more ups than downs,” he said.
“They asked me where I would prefer playing and I said, ‘I think I’m best as a small forward’.
“They said they see me playing there and switching onto the wing. I’ve just got to get into training hard and prove myself. It will be a step up.”
One thing Petruccelle is looking forward to is the big grounds in Western Australia at AFL and WAFL level.
“It’ll be good for me to use my speed and break loose on the big grounds.”
Petruccelle was one of three Knights players selected in the draft.
Nick Coffield was the first player selected, taken at pick eight by St Kilda.
Knights talent manager Rhy Gieschen said it was rewarding to see Coffield taken in the top 10.
“He’s had a fantastic year and has done everything right,” Gieschen said.
“He’s very talented and has really good character and has that maturity, I think St Kilda has had eyes on him for a while.
“They’ve lost a few players of his type the last few years in [Brendon] Goddard, [Sam] Fisher and even Leigh Montagna played down there this year.
“He [Coffield] suits the type of player they need.”
The Saints were keen to add a second Knights player to their list on Friday night, nominating Patrick Naish at pick 34.But Richmond, who had nominated Naish as a father-son pick, matched the Saints and claimed him.
It’s a dream come true for Naish, following in the footsteps of his father Chris Naish, who played 143 games for the Tigers.
Former Knights star Sam Switkowski, who has been playing VFL, was selected by North Melbourne.
Gieschen said there was still several players in contention for the rookie draft, which was held on Monday.
Best and fairest winner Alex Federico, Ethan Penrith, Joel Naylor, Mark Baker and Ben Wiggins were among those who might be selected.