Top pick: Dayle Garlett hopes he’s ready.DAYLE Garlett runs fast, kicks well and makes good things happen.
Hundreds of teenage footballers have lined up for their state sides in the under-18 championships, but the West Australian is in a smaller group that has asked people to watch him.
If the draft were held this weekend, Garlett’s talent would see him in the top 10. Whether he will be chosen so early is a question the 18-year-old knows he hasn’t yet answered, but he plans to make sure of it in the second half of the year.
These are days when ”character” matters to recruiters as much as other qualities. Garlett was kicked out of the AIS-AFL Academy at the end of last year and, after moving out of home, had issues with off-field discipline. He knows he heads the list of players clubs want to find out more about and he’s trying hard to do something genuine about it.
”What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” said Garlett of his removal from the AIS program. ”That set me to work harder through the preseason and I think it’s gone well.”
Garlett has moved back home, he now has a girlfriend and he has started working for the David Wirrpanda Foundation, spending time in schoolrooms with kids. He has been hitting the gym five times a week and, as part of the Swan Districts senior team, trying to work on his chasing and tackling.
He can remember the first time he held a football, knowing then that he wanted to play in the AFL. He said he had begun to agree with the people who think a club away from home might be the best thing for him.
”Probably the time when I moved out of home wasn’t a good time for me, but once I moved back in at home I got everything sorted, got back on track and it’s been good since then,” Garlett said.
”I did make some mistakes. That just makes me want to work harder to get to where I want to be.
”The recruiters ask me, how’s my outside life doing – if I’ve picked it up a notch. I’ve given them a good result just by doing that well.
”I’ve been told by friends, family, coaches that it would be better if I go over east, and I think it would be good for me, so I could knuckle down and get the job done.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.