New Adelaide draftee Josh Rachele has spoken on the moment it all “started to feel real”, after joining the Crows with pick 6 on Wednesday night.
The 18-year-old was the club’s first pick of the 2021 AFL National Draft, having been dominant for Victoria Country in the Under 16 championships in 2019, the last full year of footy.
He was picked in the NAB League’s Team of the Year this season and will hope to develop his game in the Crows’ forward line before an eventual move into the midfield.
While he had an “inkling” Adelaide was interested, Rachele wasn’t comfortable until he heard his name read out by AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.
“I had a fair inkling the night before, speaking to my manager Robbie D’Orazio,” he told SEN Drive*.
“I still didn’t feel comfortable at all, and when that pick 6 happened I was at the London Tavern and the camera started going on me, that’s when it started to feel real and when my name was actually read out, that’s when all the nerves went off and it felt like there was a weight lifted off my shoulders, which was so good.”
The former Murray Bushranger had plenty of contact with his new club during the year, but it was only days before the draft he realised he could be moving to South Australia.
“I spoke to Hamish (Ogilvie, Adelaide national recruiting manager) a fair bit throughout the year, I had a home visit the week before,” Rachele said.
“I had a few double-up interviews with those boys along the journey, I knew they were interested but I was actually a bit surprised, (it wasn't) up until a few days before the draft I thought, ‘Yeah, I could actually be becoming a Crow’.
“But yeah, I’m very grateful to those boys for picking me up.”
As for when he’s set to start, Rachele won’t have much time to soak it all in before joining his new housemate.
“I fly out Sunday arvo with Hamish to get ready for day one on Monday, so I’m looking forward to that,” he continued.
“I’m pretty sure I’m living with Reilly O’Brien for a few weeks, which will be interesting… he should be good, I can’t wait to meet all the boys.”
Adelaide has picks 33, 74, 76 and 87 on the second night of the National Draft.