Young defender Connor Idun will play his first AFL game on Saturday in Sydney Derby XVIII with Jeremy Cameron ruled out with calf tightness.
Idun has been brought into the 22 for the clash at GIANTS Stadium with forward Zach Sproule added to the emergencies list.
Named an emergency for the first time last night, Idun said it was a shock when coach Leon Cameron told him he’d be playing his first game.
“I just rocked up like it was an ordinary day for the NEAFL Captain’s Run and they called a meeting in the cage so I sort of knew something was happening then but I didn’t think it was going to be me,” the 19-year-old said.
“He (Leon Cameron) was rambling on a bit so I was getting a bit nervous but then he finally called my name to play my first game so it was awesome.
“I felt like I’ve been getting close the last few weeks and it was a bit frustrating not being able to get into the team because we have such a good backline.
"Now for it to finally happen and get the reward is awesome.”
Idun was drafted at pick 61 in last year’s NAB AFL Draft with the GIANTS using the newly-introduced trading of future picks to get back into the draft and secure the exciting tall.
Idun has played every NEAFL game this season and impressed with his competitiveness and versatility, recently signing a two-year contract extension.
“It’s crazy to think that this time last year I thought I wasn’t going to get drafted and I was stressing out about that and now I’m stressing about my first game,” he said.
“I never thought I was going to be here to be honest, I thought I’d just be playing local footy so it’s been awesome.
“It’s been good to work on my craft and obviously I’ve got Phil (Davis) and ‘Haynesy’ (Nick Haynes) to learn off so I’m watching edits with them through the week and trying to implement that on game day which has been awesome.
“I think I’ve done quite well and obviously got the reward for it now.”
Idun was born in London, moving to Sydney when he was just two-years-old, calling Western Sydney’s Kellyville home until he moved south to start primary school.
The laid-back character - who has watched fellow draftees Jackson Hately and Bobby Hill make their debuts this year - said he can’t wait to get out on to GIANTS Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s obviously exciting to see them get the call up but it makes you jealous and want to work harder so you’re playing with them,” he said.
“It’s going to be awesome to run out with them this weekend and I can’t wait.
“I’m a pretty relaxed person so I don’t think I’ll get too stressed out.
“Maybe when I hit the ground the butterflies might start but I’m going to just treat it like normal. I’m pretty proud.”
Don’t miss the next instalment in the rivalry between the GIANTS and the Swans and be at GIANTS Stadium on Saturday at 2:10pm for Sydney Derby XVIII. CLICK HERE to get your tickets now.
GIANTS v Swans
Saturday, August 3 at 2:10pm
FB: Heath Shaw, Phil Davis, Nick Haynes
HB: Harry Perryman, Adam Tomlinson, Jake Stein
C: Sam Reid, Tim Taranto, Lachie Keeffe
HF: Lachie Whitfield, Shane Mumford, Brett Deledio
FF: Jeremy Finlayson, Harry Himmelberg, Toby Greene
RR: Dawson Simpson, Jacob Hopper, Brent Daniels
Interchange: Zac Williams, Connor Idun, Jackson Hately, Bobby Hill
In: Brett Deledio, Jake Stein, Connor Idun
Out: Sam Taylor, Daniel Lloyd, Jeremy Cameron
Emergencies: Jye Caldwell, Aiden Bonar, Nick Shipley, Zach Sproule