Essendon used their first pick in this year’s National Draft to select inside midfielder Ben Hobbs.
The Horsham junior was snapped up by the Bombers with pick No.13 after being widely tipped to go inside the top 10 prior to the draft.
Hobbs was congratulated and welcomed to the club by skipper Dyson Heppell, Andrew McGrath, Zach Merrett, Dylan Shiel and Jordan Ridley at the London Tavern after realising his AFL dream.
“It wasn't too big of a night, but five of the Essendon boys came and saw me at the London Tavern, so that was a really special moment,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“They met my family and made me feel a little bit more comfortable.”
The Greater Western Victoria Rebels talent said he had his eyes set on a move to Essendon when his name didn’t get called out earlier than initially thought.
Hobbs, whose dad is a Bombers supporter, was overcome with emotion in Wednesday night’s draft.
“It was a fantastic night and one that I won't forget, that’s for sure,” Hobbs said.
“It was an unbelievable moment. Clubs earlier said to me that I’m a really big chance and that didn't happen, but I kept an open mind and had my eyes set on the Bombers.
“When that happened, I was just so emotional and so happy. My dad is an Essendon supporter and he’s so proud.”
Essendon GM of List and Recruiting Adrian Dodoro said Hobbs is a “ready-made” AFL player.
“We had Ben in the top seven and didn't expect him to be available at our pick, so we're very surprised but delighted,” Dodoro told Essendon’s website.
“He fits the type of player Ben Rutten wants - hardworking, committed, and has a big tank. He's a ready-made player.”
Hobbs averaged 28.5 disposals, 5.8 clearances and 5.5 tackles from four NAB League games for the Rebels this year.