Phoenix Gothard by no means thought he’d be drafted within the first spherical, not to mention at choose 12 within the 2023 AFL draft.
However for the new GWS Giants recruit, he obtained the shock of a lifetime on Monday night time.
In attendance on the draft occasion at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne merely as a visitor of greatest buddy and eventual No.11 choose, Geelong recruit Connor O’Sullivan, Gothard was surprised when his identify was learn out one choose after his mate.
AS IT HAPPENED: Every pick from the first round of the 2023 AFL draft
Surrounded by his buddies, who had been additionally company of O’Sullivan, Gothard was shortly mobbed and had his Murray Bushrangers polo ripped off by his ecstatic mates in a draft celebration for the ages.
Gothard ultimately needed to borrow O’Sullivan’s as he walked up on to the stage to satisfy former Giants skipper Phil Davis.
Gothard and his mates continued to leap round in delight, properly after AFL CEO Andrew Dillon learn out the 18-year-old’s identify.
Accepting his jumper from Davis, Gothard was extraordinarily emotional on stage, together with his mom and sister additionally last-minute invitees to the occasion.
His greatest buddy, Geelong’s latest key defender O’Sullivan, was even seen ditching Cats legend, four-time premiership champion Joel Selwood, proper after being drafted, to hurry over and have a good time Gothard’s shock choice upon listening to his identify on the audio system.
Giants recruiting supervisor Adrian Caruso praised Gothard, who was predicted to go as little as choose 30 by some draft consultants, saying the membership is worked up to see what tips he can carry on subject.
“Phoenix is a small ahead that we really feel is a good match for us,” Caruso stated by way of the Giants web site on Monday night time.
“He performs in a manner that fits the model we’ve adopted over the previous 12 months, and he has attributes to succeed on the subsequent degree.
“Given it was his first 12 months in this system this 12 months we really feel he’ll go to a different degree when in a full-time atmosphere.
“He is a participant of expertise within the entrance half, he can dazzle and weave his manner out of hassle in addition to anybody.”