When Adam Goodes climbed on the dais to receive his premiership medal after Sydney’s 2012 AFL grand final triumph, the Swans champion was handed his silverware by an eight-year-old Jedd Busslinger.
Ten years after that magical moment, a reward for being named 2012 Auskicker of the Year, Busslinger followed in the footsteps of the Swans legend by realising his AFL draft dream.
The Western Bulldogs snapped up the key defender from Western Australia with pick 13 on Monday night.
AS IT HAPPENED: AFL draft
READ MORE: No.1 draft pick a Jeremy Cameron clone
READ MORE: Hewitt fumes at Kyrgios over Davis Cup snub
“It’s unreal how it’s turned out,” Busslinger said on the Fox Footy broadcast of the draft.
“Ten years ago just as an Auskicker on grand final day and now finally living out my AFL dream … to be an AFL player — it’s unreal.”
Busslinger’s underage year was hijacked by a shoulder injury, but he still earned All-Australian selection on the back of two scintillating games for Western Australia.
He averaged 22 disposals (75 per cent efficiency), seven marks and five rebound 50s against Victoria Metro and the Allies.
He’s now an AFL draftee with shades of brilliant Collingwood defender Darcy Moore.
“This is the future,” St Kilda great Leigh Montagna said of Busslinger.
“An intercept defender that loves to go for his marks. I mean, imagine him and maybe Sam Darcy forming a one-two punch at centre-half back and fullback for the Dogs for the next 15 years … I like what the Dogs have done here … he’s the best key defender in the draft.”
AFL talent ambassador Kevin Sheehan also had high praise for Busslinger.
“He’ll develop physically into a big, powerful boy,” Sheehan said.
“He just reads it brilliantly and he’s just so much one-touch, doesn’t fumble, doesn’t panic. He’s got all the attributes to be a star down back.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!