Northam teenager Gordon Narrier took off for Melbourne last Wednesday morning, two days after he was informed he was drafted as a rookie-pick for North Melbourne Football Club.
Before the 19-year-old started his journey, he travelled with North Melbourne player development manager Neil Connell to say goodbye to his family.
Mr Connell flew from Melbourne to Perth on Tuesday to meet Narrier then the pair drove two-hours inland, to meet his family and answer any questions that they had.
Mr Connell said this a usual procedure in the AFL.
“It’s what we do,” he said.
“We like to go say hello to the family.
“It it all happens pretty quick for them so they usually have a lot of questions.”
Mr Connell said Narrier’s life would now be completely different and nothing much could have prepared him for the change.
“He’s a full time athlete now,” he said.
“He will train from 7.30am and not leave training until 5pm.
“He gets one day off and trains Saturday morning on the weekends. It is not only football – it’s strength, conditioning, recovery and nutrition.”
Mr Connell said the hardest thing Narrier will face in the next year is learning time management.
“He has essentially started full-time employment now,” he said.
“You have to plan and after 12 months you have to self manage.
“It’s really hard to prepare a kid for a full-time sporting elite environment when they are going to school.”
Narrier was understandably a bit overwhelmed when the Avon Valley and Wheatbelt Advocate spoke to him on Monday.
“It has been a bit of a whirlwind,” he said.
“It’s a pretty quick transition and then we are straight into training.”
Narrier said the club was very professional and he was happy he got to say goodbye to his family before he left.
He said training at an elite level was totally different to anything he had done before.
“It’s a great experience, I am training with all the guys I watched on TV!” he said.
“This is really helping me develop as a footy player.”
Narrier will be back for Christmas to visit his family for two weeks.