FORMER Laharum footballer Joe Harrison has earned his place on Essendon’s VFL list for the upcoming 2018 season.
Harrison said he was over the moon when he was told he had made it onto the club’s list.
“It’s pretty surreal at the moment and it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he said.
Harrison played for the Monash Blues in the Victorian Amateur Football Association in 2017 after splitting his time between the North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup and Laharum in 2016.
“It was a really good standard of footy down there,” he said. “I met a good bunch of fellas and really enjoyed the year and the coaching.”
He said had no goals of making it to the VFL at the start of the 2017 season.
“It was probably the furthest thing from my mind to be honest.,” he said. “I just wanted to be enjoying my footy again and I was with the group I was playing with. It was just a bonus that when I got a phone call at the end of the season.”
That call was to invite him to do pre-season with Essendon’s VFL team.
A squad of 46 started got the invite with Essendon set to trim its list to just 25 by the start of the season.
“They’re still in the process of doing that because there is no deadline fot them to make the cut,” Harrison said.
“They just gradually let blokes know by having individual meetings with people to let them know.
“I was lucky enough to have a positive one on Monday when they told me I would be on the list.”
Harrison’s attitude towards Essedon’s program and a willingness to work hard at training while building relationships with the coaches and other players helped him earn his place.
“They were happy with my work ethic over the summer and the position I’ve put myself in to have a crack at the VFL,” he said.
While Harrison has played a lot of his football in the forward line he moved into more of a midfield role with the Blues in 2017.
He has been working with Essendon’s midfield group during pre-season and he sees that as his best opportunity to get a game.
“My initial goal was just to get a contract,” Harrison said. “I’ve ticked that off and now it’s all about putting my best foot forward to hopefully get a game in round one. If I don’t I’m just going to keep working hard to try and get a game and hopefully hold onto my spot.”
Essendon will line up against Frankston in round one of the 2018 VFL season on April 7.