Luke Pedlar, the former Kingston Football Club junior, made his AFL debut on the big stage at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, July 3 against a determined Brisbane side.
Picked at number 11 in the AFL national draft last year, Luke said he was grateful for the chance to play footy at the highest level.
Luke said he appreciated the help he had received in settling in at the club.
"Everyone has made me feel really comfortable - being young, there are a few experienced boys who have shown the way and you make your own friendships from there," he said.
"Knowing Shoey and Rowey before getting to the club was good and rooming with Sam Berry, I got to know him well as well.
"Coming in at the same time as Riley Thilthorpe, James Borlase and Tariek Newchurch, I played with them as juniors has helped as well."
The debutante said Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane had been a great help.
"As a mentor Tex and Sloaney are up there," he said.
Sloaney is really good explaining your role and where you're at, he's been through it, and Tex keeps you in line with training and things you can work on."
Pedlar, who had been playing for Glenelg in the SANFL before the draft, said he had been working on physical and skill levels.
"Obviously the professionalism, recovery is huge after games, trying to get your body up for the next week so you don't carry fatigue in."
"My first four to five SANFL games were just trying to get through with my body (groin soreness).
"I'm still learning my role and play it to the best of my ability - once I was able to get that it was about performing and helping the team, doing everything right.
"I didn't have to light it up, but as long as I was doing the right thing as a midfielder/high half-forward."
Pedlar said he was honoured to have former Adelaide Crows champion Chris McDermott make a speech during his jumper presentation before his first game.
"It was unreal, I didn't know heaps about him but the induction into the hall of fame the week before was great, then to meet him in person was pretty surreal," he said.
"We're both from Glenelg, both midfielders so it was an honour to receive my jumper from him."
Luke's parents, Stacey and Matt Pedlar, were incredibly proud of their son.
Stacey was contacted on the Thursday prior to Luke's first game by Adam Kelly from the Adelaide Football Club.
"My heart skipped a beat to start with because I knew they had taken them in the hubs and flown them to Melbourne and I thought he had hurt himself at training - that is the first thing that goes through your head as a mum," Stacey said.
"Then I asked 'is everything okay?' and he said 'yeah we just wanted to let you know that he is getting a game'."
Kelly then asked Stacey to deliver the message to Luke in a very creative way - she mentioned how great it was to be able to give her son the amazing news.
During a team meeting, the players were asked to place their mobiles on the ground in front of them and the first person's phone to ring would need to answer the call in front of the group and have a conversation on loud speaker.
"They texted me and said ring now and he did not answer me the first time - I just rang back straight away and that time he answered and I got to deliver the news," she said.
Chris McDermott, who wore number 10 for the Adelaide Crows in the club's first year and was also a Glenelg player prior to being drafted, presented Luke with his jumper and acknowledged Luke's parents and sisters, Emily and Amy.
"That was a really lovely gesture," Stacey said.
"Matt has also worked hard to help Luke get to where he is - it was lovely to be recognised in that way by the club... they have been really good and inclusive and great with Luke and with us."
"Our whole family was there at the game.
"Matt's mum, my mum, my brother and his family, Luke's girlfriend Summer and her dad, Luke's sisters, Emily's partner - the only person who missed out was Matt's sister because her and her husband were in lockdown - Luke had a heap of his mates who were able to go too."
Matt explained that Luke had some experience playing with the senior AFL players at the start of the year, through the internal trials.
"He played against Sloane and Laird etcetera at the start but he has been to trying to get his body right and get used to it more than anything - he's put some games together now and his body is holding together, he is starting to get a bit stronger...hopefully he can play a few more now," he said.
Both Matt and Stacey emphasised how much Luke was enjoying footy, adding how the club had helped him prepare well for the game ahead.
"He rang Matt up after the game and he was just so pumped, he was bouncing off the walls, he was so happy - he said 'that was so much fun, I cannot wait to do it again, I hope I get a game next week!'
Matt also mentioned how Luke has done well do adjust to the higher levels early doors.
"Every level he goes up to he seems to adjust fairly quickly...I think that he has reached that level where he can keep adjusting and keep going."
In Luke's debut game he managed to have 77 minutes on the ground and produced 10 kicks and three handballs, as well as three marks, a tackle and secure two clearances.
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