A little over a week ago, Dante Visentini was living at home in Melbourne and pleased to see schoolmate Josh Sinn drafted by Port Adelaide.
Now the 200cm teenager has joined Sinn at Alberton and is living with captain Tom Jonas as he completes his first week as an AFL player.
For the thoughtful Brighton Beach Junior Football Club product, it is safe to say it has been a whirlwind week.
“It’s been a crazy few days flying in from Melbourne and getting into the swing of pre-season and settling into life as a professional athlete,” Visentini said,
“It’s a bit surreal as a lot of people say in this situation because one minute you’re just playing footy and trying to hit the highest level you can and the next you’re in a new city in a new environment and I’m just trying my best to adjust.
“Port as a club has a lot of interstate boys and they’re just fantastic in the welfare department. I still need to get my head around suburbs, I’m a bit lost at times but it’s been good.”
Visentini spent the first few days living with fellow draftees Sinn, Jase Burgoyne and Hugh Jackson but they have all gone their separate ways.
“I’ve moved in with Tom Jonas, the skipper, yesterday,” Visentini explained. “They’ve got a lovely household and young Matilda there and it’s a really good place to be.”
And while football is their common link, the draftee said it was far from the topic of conversation between him and his captain.
“Not too much footy,” Visentini said of what the duo had spoken about. “We watched a bit of the newsroom last night just settling in.
“I’m falling asleep pretty early after training but we’ve talked about everything and anything really.”
On Friday, Visentini went up against Scott Lycett in a few forward one-on-ones at training.
It was a steep learning curve for the lightly built big man.
“It was pretty tough. I think he was probably going a bit easy on me as well,” Visentini joked.
“I thought I’d throw myself in the deep end a bit and learn from the experienced and bigger bodies because you’re not going to improve otherwise.”
Visentini was drafted with pick 56, after Port worked a trade and also picked up North Adelaide’s Hugh Jackson a pick earlier.
While he thought he was more likely to go in the rookie draft if at all, he knew Port was the club most interested in him and a couple of other clubs were “sniffing around”.
“I was at home with the family and it was pretty crazy because I wasn’t expecting to go at all and then got some late calls from my manager and when it happened, my family of five erupted around me and my brother started running around the house,” Visentini said of his draft night experience.
“The house filled up with family and friends within minutes and my phone started going a bit crazy. It was an awesome night but I’ve just got to get to work now.
“As with a lot of the taller boys I know it’ll take a bit for me to develop so they just want me to compete in contest stuff and in every drill work hard to improve.
“I’m really focussing on marking and getting my timing right. I’m just trying to improve as much as possible and learn as much as possible because we’re coming into a new structure and there are things we’ve never experienced before so just trying to soak it all up.”
While it has been a testing and trying first week, having Sinn around has made the start of life at Alberton a lot easier.
“I’d sent him a message because he went (in the draft) on the Wednesday and then he sent me one on the Thursday. We flew across together on the Sunday and we’ve been living together as the four new draftees so it’s been good,” Visentini said.
“We went to school together and I played Sandringham Dragons together this year.
“It obviously makes it that much easier trying to settle in and stuff but the odds on that happening are pretty low so we’re really lucky.”