Charlie Ham has described the emotion of finding out he’d just become a North Melbourne player, saying his world changed when his name was read out on Wednesday night.
The skilful defender was taken with the Roos’ second selection during the Mid-Season Draft, pick 16 overall, and barely days later will join his new teammates at Arden Street on Monday.
“Dad’s phone was a bit ahead and I think I saw (Nat Edwards) read out my name and I could read (her lips) and a second later I heard Mum’s phone say ‘Charlie Ham’ and it was like ‘Geez, this is unreal’,” Ham told The Geelong Advertiser, speaking of his experience on Draft night.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet, it’s pretty crazy at the moment.”
Ham said once his name had been announced, his phone quickly lit up.
“My phone was going crazy, I missed a phone call from David Noble,” he said.
“He (Noble) sent me a text message straight away and called me the next day and we had a good chat … he gave me an indication that he wants me as a future prospect.
“I put my phone down for an hour and was just sitting down with the family and relaxing and two days after the draft I finally got to the messages and replied to all of them.”
Ham will be reunited with a familiar face at North, with good mate and former fellow Geelong Falcon, Charlie Lazzaro, set to become his new housemate.
The 18-year-old admitting he’s had to knuckle down and heed the advice of his brother, Essendon’s Brayden Ham, after the disappointment of being overlooked at the 2020 NAB AFL Draft.
“I guess you have to make those sacrifices about what you shouldn’t be doing like going out with mates and drinking and you have to do everything by the books,” Ham said.
“Even after being drafted, he said you don’t just fit straight in and get a game. You have to work for it right from when you get drafted and have a positive mindset when you go.”
Ham is known for ability to intercept in the back half, and a raking left foot kick.
His Geelong Falcons’ coach Paul Corrigan expects the new number 34 to quickly make his presence felt.
“(Ham) can go in there and have an impact straight away, he is quite mature,” Corrigan said.
“When you think about the draftees that have already played some senior footy at the Kangaroos he can fit in there.
“Once he gets locked in to that environment, I would be surprised if he doesn’t play this year.”
Photo: Mike Dugdale (The Geelong Advertiser)