HARD-working Horsham footballer Jake Lloyd will make his NAB Cup debut for the Sydney Swans on Sunday after impressing coach John Longmire during the pre-season.
Lloyd's speed and sharp skills in the midfield caught the eye of Longmire during a match last week.
The Swans premiership mastermind said Lloyd was one of the best players on the day.
"I thought Jake and a few of the kids did really well," he said.
Lloyd is part of the Swans' 34-man squad who will play Greater Western Sydney and Carlton in a triple-header at Blacktown International Sports Park.
Nicknamed the Wimmera Running Machine, the 180-centimetre midfielder said he felt as fit as ever after an intense pre-season under his belt.
"It has been a massive few months and I feel really comfortable with where I'm at," Lloyd said.
"You're training five times a week, which includes three main sessions and two gym sessions.
"Intensity is a lot higher and the skills are spot on - the ball hardly hits the ground - but I'm getting used to it now."
Lloyd, 19, admitted it had been a surreal experience since joining the reigning premiers with pick number 16 in last year's rookie draft. but said he was loving life as an AFL footballer.
"You pinch yourself sometimes when you're running around and training with blokes like Goodesy, Jude Bolton and Jarrad McVeigh," he said.
"But I've just got to get used to it they're my team-mates now.
"I feel like I've settled in really well. All the boys have been welcoming, which makes it a lot easier."
While he is happy with his progress, Lloyd said he was not getting too far ahead of himself.
"I've just got to stay fit, stay healthy and give myself the best chance of getting picked," he said.
"If I could push for a senior game this year that would be awesome, but I'm just taking things one week at a time."
Edenhope-Apsley product Tom McDonald was named in Melbourne's squad to take on North Melbourne and Richmond at Etihad Stadium tonight, while team-mate and former Horsham Saint Rory Taggert missed out.
Former Harrow-Balmoral big man Michael Close was not named to make his debut for the Brisbane Lions tomorrow night.
Hawthorn defender Kyle Cheney, formerly of Warracknabeal, will play against Gold Coast and Brisbane.