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Porter ready to get to work

with Ryan Davidson  December 4, 2017 11:56 AM

Porter Joins The Pack BulldogsTV spoke to Callum Porter after he was announced as pick 74 for the Western Bulldogs at the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.
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Callum Porter (above) was drafted by the Western Bulldogs with pick 74 overall in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

The thing I love most about footy is the contest, being able to win my own footy and tackle hard.

He may have been selected with one of the last few picks in last month's NAB AFL Draft, but new Bulldog Callum Porter would have to be in the top few for highly-decorated junior careers.

The Gippsland Power product, who was selected with pick No.74 by the Dogs, has won a remarkable nine best and fairests since he first took to the field for the Officer Kangaroos in the under-9s.

The trophies taking over the 18-year-old's bedroom are testament to his ability on the footy field.

"All the trophies are sitting on my desk in my room, so they're really starting to pile up.

"But awards are not a key motivator for me, they're just bonuses," Porter told AFL.com.au.

Porter came to the attention of the Bulldogs through a standout TAC Cup season where he averaged 22 possessions per game, but it wasn't enough to gain selection for Vic Country in the Under-18 Championships.

While the midfielder admits it was frustrating to not get the opportunity to test himself against the best juniors in the land, the rejection resulted in his best form of the season.

"I was disappointed but it's something I moved past very quickly," he said.

"The following two games against Geelong and the Rebels I probably had my two best games for the year, so I definitely used the non-selection as motivation and a way of proving the selectors wrong.

"It really catapulted my form."

As he prepares for his season in the red, white and blue, Porter may have a slight advantage on his fellow draftees as he's already played against grown men.

It may have been just one game, but the experience gives him confidence that he'll hit the ground running.

"As a 17-year-old, it was a step-up in physicality playing against men but it wasn't something that worried me because I'm a combative player," he said.

"I felt I wasn't out of my depth, I loved it.

"The thing I love most about footy is the contest, being able to win my own footy and tackle hard.

"My mindset is to play until the final siren."

But Porter concedes if he's going to succeed at the highest level he needs to iron out one of his flaws.

"Every player has some deficiencies and, at the minute, my kicking is something I'm really going to be working on," he said.

"I just need to be more composed with the ball and not so much of a bull at a gate all the time."

His former coach, premiership Magpie Leigh Brown, gave a glowing character reference about a player who won him over with his respectful manner, hard-working mindset and affable personality. 

"Every time you speak to him you'll end having a 15-minute conversation," Brown joked.

"Callum's a fantastic kid, he's got a good understanding of where he's at, and I'm sure he's already gained some respect in his first days at the Dogs.”