Bulldogs fans, the Colonel has arrived at the Kennel.
Midfield gun Ryley Sanders landed at the Bulldogs via pick six in the National Draft last night and couldn’t have been more thrilled to be pulling on the red, white and blue.
An electric midfielder with fantastic hands and leadership qualities, Sanders will hope to make an immediate impact through a talent midfield setup, making the move from Tasmania after boarding in Victoria.
It was very special to have 15 of my family and friends at the draft, it was great to share the moment with them,” Sanders said.
“I got a good indication from my manager that the Doggies were pretty keen with pick six. He had four boys before me in the draft and was pretty sure of where they were going to go.”
Such has been the impact of Sanders in his draft season, the Tasmania local already has a nickname anointed.
“The nickname Colonel has been getting around a bit. I don’t mind it. Cal Twomey was the first to come up with it I think,” he said.
After being picked on Monday night, Sanders phone was inundated with messages, as well as a first meeting with coach Luke Beveridge.
“It has been very cool getting messages from all the boys, like Bont, Adam Treloar and Libba and Bailey. It has been pretty cool,” he said.
“It was really special to meet Bevo, he is such a good fella. We just had a genuine chat talking about my family and stuff.
“Just said he was excited to have my on board and keen to get started.”
Two things stood out about the 18-year-old growing up, he pulled his socks up for every game and barracked for the Gold Coast Suns.
“My dad coached a few boys that got drafted to the Suns, and I love Gary Ablett he was my hero growing up. I was one of the only Suns supporters in Launceston growing up,” he said.
“I want to stay playing for the Bulldogs for my whole career. I am super grateful for them drafting me with pick six, so I definitely want to repay the faith.”
“I’ve just always pulled the socks up ever since Under 9’s. Dad always told me when I was younger to keep doing it. It feels a bit weird now If I don’t wear them up. I’ll continue to do it at the Bulldogs.”
Sanders will join fellow draftee Jordan Croft in joining the Club later in the week to begin pre-season training.