DEBUTANT Boyd Woodcock says being left at Alberton while Port Adelaide spent more than two weeks in an AFL hub in Queensland was a defining moment which put him on course for his first taste of AFL football on Monday night.
Woodcock was not part of the 35-man travelling squad which Port took to the Gold Coast earlier this season.
While he was disappointed, the small forward used the opportunity to work on some deficiencies and saw the reward with his AFL debut in the win over the Western Bulldogs.
“We speak a lot about moments and that was probably a defining moment for me,” Woodcock said in an interview released to members via the RAA Member Exclusive Zone of Port Adelaide's official club app.
“Not being able to go up to the Gold Coast for the couple of weeks was pretty disappointing so I just focussed a lot on training well, doing whatever I could, doing a lot of extras and really working on my aerobic capacity while I was back here and building up that tank.
“It’s a big step up to playing in the AFL. The first eight minutes it was absolutely hot and you’re just running around blowing a bit but once you adjust to the speed, I think I found it pretty well and I thought I was composed with ball in hand.”
Woodcock was unlucky to have a classy bounced goal overturned thanks to the ARC video review system deeming there was a nick off the goal post.
It would have been his first AFL goal with his first kick at the level, but the 20-year-old was able to see the lighter side of the moment, which he initially celebrated with all of his teammates.
“It was pretty heartbreaking to be honest,” he said.
“(Cricket umpire) Aleem Daar would have been proud of that one with the third umpire on the snicko.
“Obviously it was not ideal but it was just great to get out there and get a win with the team.”
As for making his AFL debut in front of a home crowd at Adelaide Oval, Woodcock described it as a “pretty special moment”.
“As a kid it’s always something you dream of so to be able to run out there with a club with such great history as well is absolutely special,” he said.
“To run out of the race to hear INXS is pretty special as well.”
Login to the RAA Member Exclusive Zone of the Official Port Adelaide App to see the full interview, including Woodcock’s description of a funny moment from his mother during his pre-game guernsey presentation.
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