Mitch Georgiades thought Port Adelaide would be the last AFL club he would be drafted to and was blindsided when they read out his name on draft night.
“There was a Facetime meeting with one of Port’s wellbeing blokes and a very brief interview with them at the draft combine, but that was it,” Georgiades told The Advertiser.
“My manager (Tom Seccull) said it looked like Port wouldn’t be the place for me, although it was possible they were playing a game with me, so I went into draft night not really expecting to end up there.’’
Then – as he was waiting for the 18th selection to be called out by the Power on night one of the two-day draft – Georgiades’ phone rang.
“My phone started ringing and I thought I’d better answer it. It was (Port coach) Ken Hinkley on the other end of the line,’’ Georgiades recalled.
“He rang about a minute before the selection was announced and said, ‘we’ll be taking you if that’s all good, we’ve locked in your name.’ I was shocked but stoked, very excited. I didn’t think I’d be going to be Port, but it’s a very good place to be.’’
The Power had kept its interest in Georgiades, who missed the entire 2019 season after three surgeries on a badly calcified thigh, well hidden.
Georgiades said the other 17 AFL clubs had shown him more love, with Geelong his keenest suitor followed by GWS, Melbourne, Fremantle, West Coast and Hawthorn.
But Port had been tracking the athletic, high-leaping forward closely.
“We did keep him pretty quiet but we tracked him in 2018 and thought he’d be a pretty good player and rocket up the boards in 2019, but he didn’t get to play,’’ national recruiting manager Geoff Parker said.
“We did a lot of background checking. Power assistant, Jarrad Schofield, has that Subiaco connection (as a past coach there) and Taj, Jarrad’s son, played with him. So we had a lot of intel on him and we’re excited he got to where he got to.
“We’re very, very comfortable with our decision to pick him.’’
The draft bolter has stacked on 5kg of muscle since arriving at Alberton to now tip the scales at 89kg and the early signs are that he is everything Port could have hoped for and more.
Georgiades described missing a season of football in his draft year in 2019 as “the toughest year of my life.”
Now, finally fit and firing, in the AFL system and with a game already under his belt, he is loving life.
Source: The Advertiser.