Northam teenager Nathan O’Driscoll has been climbing the ladder of success in the past few months with his AFL journey reaching new heights.
The 16-year-old has been named on the interchange for the 2018 NAB AFL Under-16 All Australian team alongside five other West Australians.
This follows a stand out performance by O’Driscoll in the three-round 2018 U16 Championships held over east in June and early July.
O’Driscoll was named best on ground for West Australia’s 54-point win over Vic Country in round three of the championships.
The win saw the side walk away runners-up in the competition.
O’Driscoll said his performance improved during each game of the championships.
“I was a bit surprised being named as best, because I wasn’t having the greatest carnival but the last game was better,” O’Driscoll said.
“I had 23 disposals and five-tackles. In the first game I only had 11 disposals and the second game I had 14 so I kept improving.”
O’Driscoll said playing in a state time was a lot harder than playing for his WAFL club Perth, with the speed and intensity increasing.
The defender said being named in the All-Australian squad came as a shock.
“Everyone kept coming up to me at school and I didn’t know what they were talking about,” he said.
“I couldn’t stop smiling and went and told everyone.
“I don’t know how to explain the feeling. It was so good.”
O’Driscoll said his goal is to be drafted to the AFL when his chance arises in 2020.
O’Driscoll joined the game late, starting off older than some before tapping into his potential.
“I never really started playing football until I was eight and I wasn’t too good at it,” he said.
“Dad used to think that I was a right-footer and then one day I kicked on my left. And I loved it from there.”
The Fremantle supporter said he would compare his current playing style to Angus Brayshaw of Melbourne Football Club but would eventually aspire to be like Nat Fyfe.
His mother Michelle said herself and her husband are proud of O’Driscoll’s achievement and their wish would to be to see him fulfilling his dream of playing AFL, no matter what team that ends up being.