By Justin Robertson
EASTERN Ranges captain Cameron O’Shea will bid adieu to his TAC days to embark on his AFL career with Port Adelaide after being selected with pick No. 52 in last week’s AFL national draft on the Gold Coast.
The Ferntree Gully St Joseph’s student had a low-key build up, watching the draft at a mate’s house, but soon became overwhelmed with excitement when they called out his name.
“I just heard my name read out and I was shocked,” he said. “I got a call from (the Power coach) Matthew Primus just after that and he just congratulated me and let me know a bit about what’s going to happen from here on in.”
Without too much time to reflect on his achievement, O’Shea packed his bags on Sunday and has already ticked off one training session with his new club.
“I was hoping I would get drafted, but I wasn’t really sure what to think – I was just waiting to see what happens,” O’Shea said, who also played football with his local club Emerald.
“I can’t wait to get over there and get into the training and to see what it’s like in an AFL environment,” he said before leaving.
The backman turned midfielder averaged 20 possessions in more than six TAC Cup matches this season.
The 194cm teenager was also named in the initial Vic Metro squad for this year’s national under-18 NAB Cup national championships.
Because of a workplace injury he spent five weeks on the sidelines and missed most of the tournament, but he still managed to gain selection in the TAC Cup team of the year.
O’Shea is one of four Eastern Ranges players to get drafted by AFL clubs. The others are Kieran Harper (pick No. 27, North Melbourne) Aaron Young (36, Port Adelaide) and Paul Seedman (76, Collingwood).
Having a familiar face around a new AFL club is something O’Shea thought would help him settle in a lot better.
“Aaron (Young) is heading over to Port with me, so that should make things a bit easier,” he said.
“My stint with the Ranges was the best time of my life, I have some good mates that’ll probably last the rest of my life.”
O’Shea spent three years at TAC level, starting as a 16-year-old and he juggled VCE with a 40-minute commute to and from training a few days a week, but is now looking forward to entering a new football chapter with his new Port Adelaide club.
“It’s all just starting now, I guess,” he said. “It’s the end of that journey and another one begins, so I’m looking forward to it.”
By Justin Robertson