Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Shocked Clurey set to live dream

Shock was Katamatite-born Murray Bushrangers footballer Tom Clurey’s overriding reaction as Port Adelaide officials made his AFL dream come true last night.

MARC MCGOWAN November 23, 2012 4:20am

Katamatite’s Tom Clurey joined AFL club Port Adelaide through last night’s AFL National Draft on the Gold Coast.

Shock was Katamatite-born Murray Bushrangers footballer Tom Clurey’s overriding reaction as Port Adelaide officials made his AFL dream come true last night.

The 18-year-old, who stands 193cm, joined the Power — the same club as Echuca’s Ollie Wines — with pick 29 in the AFL National Draft.

Clurey bolstered his draft hopes with stellar results, particularly in the beep test and 3km time trial, at last month’s AFL Draft Combine.

He also made the TAC Cup Team of the Year and played every game for Victoria Country at the national under-18 championships as a key defender.

‘‘It was a bit of a shock, actually, because I haven’t heard anything since draft camp,’’ Clurey said.

‘‘I was sitting down at home with the family watching, not knowing what to expect.

‘‘But when my name got called out, I was pretty shocked and even now it’s still so hard to come to terms with it. It’s crazy, really.’’

Clurey, who watched the draft with his parents Lyne and Tony, said his school exams and a recent trip to Torquay helped take his mind off the impending draft.

‘‘I’ve just been sitting back the last week and waiting, really, so it’s good to have it finally over and done with,’’ he said.

‘‘I had a meeting with (Port Adelaide) at the draft camp, but I had no idea where I was going, because I haven’t spoken to anyone since draft camp.

‘‘I didn’t have a clue if I was going to go or where I was going to go if I went. I was just sitting there not thinking much at all.’’

Clurey said he ignored the ‘‘mock’’ and ‘‘phantom’’ drafts which had him being selected anywhere from the teens to the 20s.

‘‘I saw a few of them and people always tell me about them, but they could be any people who write them,’’ he said.

‘‘They’re not clubs, so they don’t really know what the clubs are thinking. So I just tried not to get too involved in them.

‘‘It’s always been my dream and goal to make AFL, so I’m sure it will hit me in the next few days, but at the moment it’s hard to come to terms with.

‘‘On the other hand, I’m pumped and excited about what the next few years will bring.’’

Clurey said having to relocate interstate to follow his AFL dream was daunting, but something he was ready for.

‘‘My parents are pretty stoked and, just like me, pretty shocked and finding it hard to come to terms with,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s frightening a bit because you have to move away, but even being two or three hours away from Melbourne, I knew if I wanted to play AFL I had to move away, so I was expecting that.’’

Clurey thanked his parents, as well as Katamatite and Bushrangers football clubs, for their support and advice during the years.

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