Earning a place on an AFL list is merely a dream for some footballers, but former Adelaide Crows defender Sam Siggins believes he can do it for a second time.
Siggins left the Crows for personal reasons in 2015 but after spending two years playing in Tasmania, he is ready to give professional football another crack.
The 196cm utility has joined Geelong’s VFL side, hoping it can be a pathway back to the AFL.
The Cats have attracted numerous AFL hopefuls after the likes of Tom Stewart, Tom Ruggles, Ryan Abbott and Timm House were drafted out of the VFL program in recent years.
Despite enjoying his time in Tasmania, Siggins knew he had to make the move before age became a factor for recruiters.
“I am at that age, 23 turning 24, that if I am going to get back on a list, it is now or never,” he said.
“I certainly feel like if I can have a good year or couple of years, I can put myself back on a list.”
Being at Kardinia Park has allowed Siggins to put himself back into a professional environment and even if he does not get drafted again, he will stand by the decision to move to Geelong.
— sam siggins (@samsiggins) December 10, 2017
“I wanted to test myself against AFL listed players and I have that opportunity here,” he said.
“If it happens, it happens but if it doesn’t – at least I know I’ve done everything I possibly can to get back.”
To leave his home state of Tasmania and move to Geelong was a big risk for Siggins, but an even bigger leap was taken by the friend that joined him for the ride.
Aiden Grace played for Clarence alongside Siggins in Tasmania’s state league and decided to follow his mate to the Cattery.
The reasons behind Grace’s leap of faith were similar to his mate, as the 20-year-old wanted to reach his full potential at a top-level club.
“(Grace) is a bit younger than me but has similar ambitions,” Siggins said of his teammate.
“I said to him ‘do you want to come across too’ because he needed to test himself as well.”
When Grace packed up his life in Tasmania, he did not have a guaranteed spot on the VFL list, so moving to Geelong was a significant risk.
Through Grace’s hard work and dedication to his craft, the former Clarence star was named in the Cats’ final 34-man squad.
“To his own credit, he has trained really well and got his own spot on the list which is a real credit to him,” Siggins said.
With the pair now both locked in at the Cats for the season, they have been able to settle in to their new surroundings.
“I have moved in with Gracey and our partners,” Siggins said.
“(Geelong) is similar to Tassie in a way and I have really enjoyed that and settled in quickly.”