It started like a normal Friday for Anthony Treacy.
But just as the Curtin University groundsman was preparing to go to work, his life changed in an instant.
Following the rookie draft online, the livewire Claremont small forward was stunned to see his name flash up as he was selected at pick 11 by West Coast.
“I called my boss and told him I might not make it today,” Treacy said.
The next thing he knew his phone was going into meltdown as the news spread.
“Most of my family are up in Broome, all my brothers and my parents are all there. They all seemed to get the news straight away,” Treacy said.
“I got phone calls from them before I even had the chance to call them. I was straight on to FaceTime and they were all very happy.
“My nephew was jumping around; he’s probably one of the biggest West Coast supporters that I know, so he was just over the moon.”
We added Anthony Treacy to our rookie list this morning and he chatted to the media today! pic.twitter.com/6QD27jooy9— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) November 29, 2019
Treacy, 22, put his name up in lights to Eagles recruiters after booting two goals for Claremont in the Tigers’ semi-final victory over West Coast this year.
The former Sydney Swans academy product certainly made an impression in his first WAFL season, just three years after rupturing his ACL and returning to Broome unsure if he still had the passion to play football.
“I would have laughed (if you told me I would one day be drafted). When I was playing for Cable Beach I had no intentions of taking my football anywhere,” Treacy said.
Treacy is one of four new Eagles draftees, along with fellow Claremont product Callum Jamieson, West Perth defender Ben Johnson and Tasmanian product Mitch O’Neill.
Jamieson, a beanpole 200cm big man, was thrilled to remain in his home state and learn ruck craft from Eagles star Nic Naitanui.
“I’ve watched him pretty much all my life and he’s the best of the best,” Jamieson said.
“He’s so talented, so it will be so good to meet him, work alongside him and get some tips off him.
“I want to get in the gym and put on some size, but I’m super hardworking, dedicated and eventually I will get there.
“It might take a year or two, but whenever I get that opportunity I’ll take it with both hands and never let it go.”
Callum Jamieson chatted to the media today for the first time as an Eagle! pic.twitter.com/sJfyiCGxZe— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) November 29, 2019
Silky-skilled Johnson will have a similar goal - to put on some size – while soaking up knowledge from the likes of Brad Sheppard, Liam Duggan and Lewis Jetta.
The lifelong Eagles supporter was sure his mother, who passed away when he was 10 from melanoma, would have been proud to see him achieve his football ambition.
“She’s always in the back of my mind. Whatever I’m doing I’ll try and do it for her,” Johnson said.
“To play AFL, which is my life-long dream, I’m really happy that I’ve done her proud. I’ve done everything I can to make her proud.”
Hear from our new draftee, Ben Johnson! pic.twitter.com/ce8SXmAWFx— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) November 29, 2019
Treacy, Jamieson and Johnson enjoyed their first look inside the Eagles’ inner sanctum and a meeting with coach Adam Simpson on Friday.
O’Neill will have the same chance when he arrives at the club next week.
The 181cm midfielder – who idolises wingman Andrew Gaff – rode an emotional rollercoaster over the past 24 hours after being shattered to miss out in the national draft.
“I knew they (the Eagles) were pretty keen, but I thought it would have been on Thursday night,” O’Neill said.
“When they started to pass (on picks) then I really thought the dream could be over here. That’s when I went to bed, or tried to.
“It was just shocking, I’ve never been that upset before, and seeing my family like that as well.”
Welcome to the West, Mitch! pic.twitter.com/ptGwf3qXsn— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) November 28, 2019
But just as O’Neill was planning his next football move – most likely a switch to the VFL – on Friday morning he received the news West Coast had swooped in the rookie draft.
“It’s pretty nerve-wracking thinking about (moving across the country), but I’m just grateful for the opportunity and just really keen to get in there and have a crack and prove people wrong,’ he said.
“I’ve had Nic Naitanui, Luke Shuey and Shannon Hurn call me and also Andrew Gaff sent me a text, and I spoke to a few of the coaches.
“That’s awesome those boys getting around me and making me feel welcome.”