Northern Knights’ Sam Philp wasn’t expecting to hear his name called out in the opening round of the AFL national draft on Wednesday night.
Having paid a bit of attention to the media before the draft, Philp thought he was more a chance to hear his name on the second night of the draft, when all the other picks were announced.
But Carlton sprung a surprise, picking Philp at pick 20.
Philp said it took a little while for the news he had been selected to settle in.
“It was a moment I will never forget,” he said the day after.
“I think it was pour shock for five minutes, then after that I was really overwhelmed and so happy and ecstatic.
“It didn’t really fully sink in until this morning.”
Philp spent Wednesday night at home with his immediate family, his grandfather and a family friend watching the draft.
He said they tuned in, to get an idea of what to expect the following night, when Philp thought he might have been picked up.
“You read a little bit into the form guides and mock drafts and that, I wasn’t really named in the first round at all,” he said.
“So to go in the first round, gives me so much confidence. I’m really happy to go to Carlton.
“It takes the pressure off. I would have been stressing today if I wasn’t picked.”
Philp said he had spoken to Carlton twice in the lead up to the draft, once at the club and the other at the draft combine.
He said both times they had left a really good impression on him. Since being drafted he has spoken to coach David Teague and co-captains Sam Docherty and Patrick Cripps.
“I’ve got lots of text messages which has been awesome. I’m just waiting to properly meet them all.”
Philp’s selection at pick 20 caps off an up and down season for the midfielder.
Having missed selection for Vic Metro, he worked hard in the NAB League and ended up winning the Knights’ best and fairest award.
He said his story was something that others could look up to.
“I was quite disappointed at the time,” he said of missing metro selection. “To turn it around and get to where I am, shows some of the younger boys coming through that its not the end of the world.
“That’s something I’ve really learned, you are never really out of it. Stay resilient, stay confident and you can really get anywhere.
“I hope it has sent a really good message to some of the other boys.”
Philp will watch the rest of the draft tonight where he is hopeful a few friends will also realise their AFL dreams.
He heads to Carlton on Friday with training to start next week.
“I couldn’t be happier at the Blues, I’m just really excited to be amongst it with the young group they have.
“I just want to be able to play a game next year is my aim at the start. Round one not out of contention, but a lot of work to be done soon.”