Warner ‘over the moon’ to debut
East Fremantle product Chad Warner says he’s ‘over the moon’ to make his debut for Sydney at AFL level, after coach John Longmire confirmed his selection for Sunday’s game against Richmond.
Speaking on Sports Drive on Wednesday, Warner said he was relieved to get the nod so early in the week ahead of the trip North to face the Tigers.
“It’s crazy, it’s hard to explain to be honest,” he said.
“It all went really quick. Having it (the debut announcement) early in the week was really good. It’s good to get my head around it before the game comes on Sunday. I was over the moon.”
Warner will be joined by fellow 2019 draftee Dylan Stephens in the side for the clash at the Gabba, the latter taken with Sydney’s first selection at pick 5 in last year’s draft.
The Willetton junior was overjoyed to share the experience with the South Australian.
“I wouldn’t want to debut with anyone else. Doing it with a mate like that it’s even better too. I can’t wait to run out with him on Sunday.” Warner said.
Due to Queensland government restrictions Warner’s parents won’t be able to get to the venue to watch his debut in person, but the 19 year old said the phone call to inform them of his debut was still an emotional moment.
“Mum and dad were actually together at the time, which was really nice. There were mainly tears of joy. I was really happy to tell them (I was playing).” He said.
Warner played his underage football as an inside midfielder but is set to play as a small forward against the Tigers.
He praised the work of his colts coach at East Fremantle, former West Coast Eagle Jacob Brennan to get him ready for the rigors of AFL football.
“He definitely identified something that I had. I always worked hard and he put my name forward to Peter Sumich and the state staff. I was lucky enough to play a few trial games and then make the team,” Warner said.
“He’s been great for that. Through the whole Colts program he always pushed me hard and always been there to help when I need it.”
Warner was one of five players drafted out of the East Fremantle colts squad of 2019 and becomes the third player after Luke Jackson and Trent Rivers to make his AFL debut this season.
IMAGE: Sydney Swans Twitter.