It hasn’t been the traditional pathway to senior football for Robbie McComb.
A Footscray best and fairest winner, VFL Team of the Year representative and dual-premiership player with Vermont, McComb will get to add AFL debut to his list of achievements on Saturday afternoon.
Taken with the Club’s second selection in the 2021 Rookie Draft, the 26-year-old had to bide his time at local and state-league level, spending four seasons in Footscray’s VFL program.
“It’s really exciting – I can’t wait to get out there and have a crack with the boys. It’s been a long-time coming,” McComb told westernbulldogs.com.au.
“I did my time in local footy and the VFL – it probably didn’t always look like I’d get there (to AFL), and I didn’t know if I had the belief but I’m glad I stuck it out.
“There’s a pretty small chance that it will happen, but I suppose I’m just glad that I kept the belief that I did have the ability to get there.”
McComb is a proven ball-winner, having registered 36 disposals and 10 marks in the VFL season-opener, followed by 28 touches and six marks in round four after returning from a rib injury.
He credited those around him for his own development and growth.
“Training with them and the calibre of blokes we have out here – it’s hard not to improve by just being here every day with them,” he said.
“I’ve learnt so much already over the one summer I’ve had, which holds me in good stead for beyond tomorrow as well.
“It obviously helps to have been in the same system and Club, with the same structures and knowing a lot of the boys already.
“I’m just really looking forward to it.”
McComb becomes the fourth player currently on the senior list to have graduated via the Footscray pathway, joining former VFL Bulldogs Anthony Scott, Ryan Gardner and Mitch Hannan.
The Bulldogs and Crows will do battle in Ballarat from 1.45pm on Saturday 23 April.