Being overlooked in the national draft as a teenager left Zac Williams with a chip on his shoulder he says is still there today.
Williams can remember feeling deeply jealous when he turned up to train with the GIANTS after the 2012 draft ended without his name being called out.
While he was there hoping to win a rookie list the GIANTS’ new draftees – a group that included Lachie Whitfield and Aidan Corr – were already on the list and getting started.
Williams recounts his journey to the GIANTS in the latest episode of the Becoming GIANT podcast, presented by Bingo Industries.
“When (I missed out in the draft) I just had a chip on my shoulder. I think I still do, have a bit of a chip on the shoulder about not being drafted,” said Williams.
As one of the first GIANTS Academy graduates, the defender was picked up with the club’s final selection in the rookie draft that year.
While Williams attended the draft combine that year only one other club - North Melbourne - made the trip to Narrandera in country NSW to interview him.
“I carry that with me and it made me think I wanted to prove I was on the same level, if not better than all those top picks.
“At the time, that’s all the GIANTS had, young boys who were top picks and a lot of boys who went top 10.
“I wanted to prove: ‘Everyone’s made a mistake here, I’m going to prove to everyone I’m better than those top 10 picks or highly touted players.’
“I guess it was just that competitive nature coming out: you know what, I lost in the fact I didn’t get drafted, I took a loss there, but my competitive nature just said, ‘I’m going to prove I’m just as good as anyone else in the competition.'
“I was quite jealous but once I got rookie drafted, for me, it was like: ‘game on, it’s fair play now, I’m on the list, I’m here.”
Williams is one of five GIANTS to have featured so far in the podcast series.
Heath Shaw, Daniel Lloyd, Matt de Boer and Whitfield have told the stories behind the journey to the GIANTS in other episodes.