Mature-age forward Ben Cavarra will make his AFL debut on Friday night.
Cavarra will run out in red, white and blue for the first time when the Western Bulldogs host Collingwood at Marvel Stadium.
It’s been a long journey for the 24-year-old, after missing out on multiple drafts before joining the Bulldogs with pick 45 in 2018.
Former Bulldogs star and now VFL senior coach Daniel Giansiracusa presented Cavarra with his jumper in a team meeting on Thursday morning.
“It’s been an interesting journey, overlooked a couple of times in drafts and things like that,” Giansiracusa said in the team meeting.
“We’ve known him for just over 12 months – he was in a hurry when he got here.
“He’s a hungry little goal sneak and his body probably failed him a little bit last year, but he continued to grow and learn from those experiences.
“He continues to knock down the coaches’ door about trying to get better.”
Cavarra had more than his fair share of injuries in his first year as a Bulldog, managing just 12 VFL games around quad, hamstring, rib and shoulder injuries.
But he’s now ready to make the most of his opportunity after a strong pre-season.
“It’s been a really long journey for me,” Cavarra told his teammates.
“Overlooked six times, constantly told I’m not good enough and that sort of stuff.
“I always had the belief that I was and knew that once I got my chance I would take it with both hands.
“Last year was really tough with injuries… I’m just looking forward to the opportunity.”