Football is full of surprises and Nick Larkey says he’s still coming to terms with one he experienced this season.
The 19-year-old spent a majority of his first year in the AFL system playing for Werribee in the VFL, but an unexpected call-up turned his world upside-down.
“To get a game in my first year was something I was pretty proud of and something I always wanted,” Larkey told NMFC.com.au.
“I surprised myself with how I went this year … I never thought I would be playing AFL footy so early in my career, and now that I have, it has changed my goals and expectations.”
While the agile forward’s debut against Essendon in Round 18 didn’t go as planned - only registering a solitary hit-out - his belief is unshakable.
“It wasn’t my best game, but I thought my leading patterns were good and I just needed to back myself,” he continued.
“If only a couple things had gone differently, it would have been a completely different game … I’m just stoked to get out there and get a crack and get a taste of what it’s like.”
At 198cm, Larkey’s development has been significant resulting in a contract extension to the end of 2019.
“I just want to hit the pre-season as hard as I can,” Larkey said.
“I want to make sure I come back fit, bigger and stronger, so in the off-season I’ll have to go to the gym and keep up my fitness.
“Getting drafted was the easy bit. The hard bit is getting a game, and then when you get a game, you want to play consistently, and when you play consistently, then you want a premiership.
“I’m at the point that I want to play consistent AFL footy.”