Sam Philp hopes claiming the Northern Knights’ Brent Harvey Medal for best and fairest is a sign of things to come over the next few months.
After a slow start to the season, Philp stepped up big time for the Knights in the middle part of the year to show his talent.
The upturn in form put AFL recruiters on notice and impressed the Knights’ coaches.
Philp said while he had a good season, he didn’t think he had done enough to get the medal.
“That was a pretty cool feeling,” he said.
“It’s pretty nice to get recognition for the season you’ve had.
“I didn’t think I would win it, I thought I might be up there. I had a few good games throughout the year and had been pretty consistent. I thought maybe Josh D’Intinosante or Jackson Davies would be the favourites …Jackson gave me a scare towards the end of it.
“It’s not what you play footy for, to win those type of medals, but it’s quite nice recognition to get.”
The medal win caps off three years at the Knights, with Philp hoping a spot on an AFL list is on the cards later this year.
Having missed selection in the Vic Metro squad for the national championships, Philp has been seen as draft bolter in many eyes.
While the man himself isn’t sure whether he likes that term, he’s happy to hear his name is in the thoughts of AFL clubs.
He said the disappointment of missing Vic Metro had quickly turned to motivation.
“For the first couple of days it hurt a bit,” he said.
“I was a bit disappointed hearing that. I got reassured pretty quickly from the Knights that it’s not the end of the world and there’s lots of chances at the Knights.
“With the metro boys out there was more responsibility on myself, Josh and Jackson and a few other senior guys who were unlucky to miss metro.
“Justin McInerney from last year didn’t go through metro and got drafted and it’s a really good story.”
Philp’s efforts and hard work paid off, with selection for the AFL draft combine.
He said his confidence had grown this year and felt that he was stronger around the packs with his body growing.
Speaking from day two of the combine, the St Marys junior was taking in the whole experience.
He said like many of the other players, he was dreading the endurance testing.
“Missing metro I thought it was a little bit out of reach at the time,” he said of the combine.
“It was a big boost to my confidence that I could prove people wrong and it was nice for me.
“The testing is always exciting and I enjoy the interviews and getting to know the clubs, also the media stuff, I don’t mind as well.”
As well as preparing for the draft, Philp is juggling year 12 studies. For him, the two have complimented each other well.
“It has balanced really well and worked well for me, I never think I was too consumed with either.”
As a Richmond fan, Philp has seen first-hand a number of former Knights players make it at the next level.
He’s hoping he will join them on an AFL list next year.
“Footy has always been the dream, I’ve always dreamt of playing at the MCG and having that as a career would be just awesome.”