Jacob Allison is smack bang in the middle of three of the most important days of his life.
He, along with five other Queenslanders, are currently in Melbourne taking part in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft Combine.
Over four days, Allison will be put through his paces – both physically and mentally -in front of all 18 AFL clubs as the lead in to the NAB AFL Draft ramps up.
Allison said while there are a few nerves, it’s an exciting time.
“It’s going really well, it’s good to hang out with the boys again and be back in Melbourne, now I’m really looking forward to the testing, and tonight’s skill testing as well.
“There are always a few nerves, anything to do with footy creates a bit of nerves, but I think I can perform well over the next couple of days, and put my best foot forward.”
The moment they Queensland group arrived at Etihad Stadium, the testing began.
“We landed last night, and did our height, weight and skinfold testing, and then went to bed because we were all pretty tired from the flight down,” he said.
“We woke up this morning, had the introduction and welcome, and then had a few club interviews this morning, and all the mental testing.”
Ahead of him is a skills session tonight, with handballing, kicking, and goal kicking all measured, before they chuck the runners on over the weekend for the beep test, repeated sprints and 3k time trail to round it out on Sunday.
While the testing takes places over a short period of time, Allison, and a few of his Academy mates, have been putting in the hours in the lead up.
“I’ve been doing a fair bit of work with the Lions Academy, Josh Hunt, Luke Curran and Aaron Hull have been a big help, and I’ve been doing it alongside Declan Watson, Jack Rolls and Elliot Himmelberg, so we have all been working hard and getting as fit as we can for the National and State combine,” Allison said.
“I’m hoping to test well in the beep test and three kilometer time trial. I have been working pretty hard on them, so hopefully I can post personal bests in both.
Along with the testing comes the club interviews. Even though Allison is a member of the Brisbane Lions Academy, he said it’s important to impress as many clubs as possible.
“I just have to go into every interview like I am in the open draft, having that mindset. You know the Lions are there as a possible option, but you have got to think like every other kid in the country. You can’t single yourself out,” he said.
After this weekend is wrapped up, Allison will take a well-earned break; it’s been a massive year.
He won’t, however, be kicking the feet up completely.
“I’ll probably go on a little bit of a holiday and have some time off, but also just keep as fit as I can and be ready for the draft, and hopefully to walk into an AFL club,” he said.
By Andrew Wiles