There were more than a few nervous moments for Calder Cannons’ Curtis Taylor during last week’s AFL draft.
Taylor was a late invite to attend the draft’s first round on Thursday, but his name wasn’t called out.
After a sleepless night, Taylor went back to Marvel Stadium [formerly Etihad Stadium] on Friday to listen to the rest of the draft.
Taylor was expected to be taken by pick 30, but had to wait a bit longer to hear his name.
North Melbourne traded Western Bulldogs for pick 46, to pounce on Taylor.
Taylor said he wouldn’t change the draft wait for anything.
“It’s amazing and I’m just stoked and over the moon,” he said hours after being selected. “I can’t describe the feeling.
“I had my head in my hands just waiting for my name to be read out and when it was, I was rapt.
“It was stressful, but that’s all part of being drafted.”
Kangaroos coach Brad Scott quickly introduced himself, telling Taylor the club was shocked he was still available at that pick.
“They didn’t think I would get that far and when I was, they jumped at the opportunity to pick me up. They were really rapt and keen for me to get into it, as I am.”
Going to North Melbourne means that Taylor can continue to live at home, just two suburbs away from Arden Street.
Taylor, whose relatives include Shane Warne, is the latest in a long line of players to get drafted out of Keilor Football Club.
He is the sixth player since 2014 who has come through the club’s junior ranks and gone on to be drafted.
“Paul Ahern is down there at North and he’s a Cannons boy,” Taylor said.
“A few other guys like Jayden Laverde, Nick O’Kearney and Damo [Damien Cavka] have also come through and they’ve all experienced it.
“I do speak to them, especially Nick O’Kearney, who has been a massive influence for me, giving me advice leading up to the draft.”
Another big influence for Taylor has been Keilor senior coach and Collingwood premiership player Mick McGuane.
McGuane thrust Taylor into Keilor’s side as a 16-year-old in 2016, where in just his fourth senior game he played in an Essendon District Football League premier division premiership.
“Mick has been amazing,” Taylor said.
“What he has been able to give me and the opportunity to play senior footy at a young age, really helped.
“It’s been that good to experience, that I’ll always cherish, but it’s a new chapter in my football life and I can’t wait to get started.”
Taylor didn’t have long to let the news settle in, as he joined the Kangaroos at training on Monday.
Taylor was one of four Cannons players picked up in the draft.
Rhylee West, was taken by the Western Bulldogs as a father-son pick at pick 26, with co-captain Jack Bytel taken by St Kilda at pick 41.
Lachlan Sholl made it a fourth Cannons player selected, taken by Adelaide at pick 64.
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