I never believed that I was good at football. I was just a tall kid who weighed 87 kgs and could jump and run well. I had good skills when I had the ball in open space, but I never really had lots of the ball or had massive games.
I had played senior football in the SANFL in Adelaide leading up to the under 18’s NAB AFL state championships. Week after week in the SANFL I was rucking against grown men and most were ex-AFL footballers.
At the championship is where I played the best 5 games of my life, genuinely fluked playing 5 good games in a row.
After these 5 good games at the championships I’m being spoken about as a top 10 pick and thinking to myself “please don’t, this can’t be happening I’m not that good.” I wasn’t going to tell teams that, I am going to pretend that if you take me I’ll win your club a premiership.
So I have played the five games of my life in the championships and those 5 games are the ones that recruiters really look at when making their assessment going forward with draft selections.
The other thing I did/can do real well is talk crap, I was crushing these interviews with teams. I had 3 interviews with the Suns prior to the draft and I would interview well with them each time.
My favourite question was “describe to us the type of player you are,” they would ask.“well you see, I am a midfielder stuck inside a ruckman’s body, get me outta here!” and we’d all laugh.
We get to draft night and I’m still thinking to myself that they can’t really be thinking of taking me with an early pick. Have they not seen the games I played where I had 3 or 4 touches in the SANFL?
As we walk into the Gold Coast exhibition centre, we are strolling around and all of a sudden the Gold Coast recruiters and coaches approach me and give me a little hint they’ll be taking me by saying “we’ll see you soon.”
Perfect! I’m getting picked to them, I know they have some late-round picks how good! Just sit back now and wait for the good players to get up on stage to take a pic and then wait for my name to get read out maybe around pick 30-40.
I get to my seat, and the draft begins, there are some highlights being played and the media coverage starts. After 10 minutes the names start getting read out and they’re going to start from pick 10 backwards to pick 1. Andrew Demetriou gets up and opens the draft “welcome to draft on the Gold Coast for the AFL draft live from the Gold Coast.”
“With pick 10 in the 2010 NAB AFL draft Gold Coast selects. Daniel Gorringe” …
You’re f*cking shitting me.
I have just bluffed my way into top 10 of this draft. I am not that good please don’t do this, can we do a redraft? Oh no, no no no-no-no.
I am stoked that I’m an AFL player, lots of kids would love to be that, but I have only played 5 good games of footy this year and made you guys like me in the interviews we had. This is a genuine disaster! How am I going to bluff being good at training where they get to see every day that I am not that good?
Eventually, the Suns found out what I knew back in 2010 on draft night, that I was a massive bust and couldn’t play.
But for kids who are aspiring to be AFL players out there and thinking you have to be a gun junior footballer to get drafted that is not correct, if you just talk some crap, make enough people like you and play a couple of games where you kick a few goals and have a few touches you to can break into the top 10 of a draft.