Ryan Maric, the tall utility player who tonight joined the West Coast Eagles via the Mid-Season Rookie Draft, has become accustomed to adapting to different circumstances.
Having already played for four different teams this season Maric, who will turn 19 in September, was quickly re-organising his life to book a seat on the first available flight to Perth
He has played with Gippsland Power, Victoria Country, Young Guns and Box Hill and has excelled with each outfit.
Now he is excited about tackling the next leg of a journeyed football season.
“I’m over the moon I can’t wait,” said Maric after he heard his name called out first. “I fly tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to getting over and coming into the club.
“The last few weeks have been nerve wracking since I found out I was in contention (to be drafted mid-season). I just focused on Uni where I’m doing a Bachelor of Sport Physical and Outdoor Education and work (at the local supermarket).
“It hasn’t fazed me too much, playing with different teams. I have just given it 100 % energy to make connection and help to be a part of good team environment
“It was about a month ago that I realised this was a chance, my first Young Guns game and then the Vic Country trial. I have managed to keep grounded knowing this was a possibility and now I’m just stoked and want to get stuck in.”
The 193cm utility player from Gippsland Power, watched the live stream of the draft on the AFL website at his local club, Druin Football Club, that has produced elite players like Gary Ablett Snr, Geoff Ablett and Dale Thomas.
That Maric would be the club’s only selection in the draft (#1), was widely predicted and a posse of West Coast recruiting staff were on hand for the moment his name was called, officially creating a long-awaited opportunity at the elite level.
Maric has played the last couple of games for Box Hill in the VFL, kicking two goals in each match, capitalising on a strong preparation.
After a solid pre-season Maric kicked four goals against the Murray Bushrangers and followed up with three more against Bendigo a fortnight later.
When Maric was 15 he had a growth spurt where he shot up 30cm in a year which created some back issues. He was then hit by glandular fever, put on some weight and then worked hard to get to his current playing weight.
He’s now in great shape and preparing to take his opportunity at the elite level.