Green Set to Follow in the Famous Footsteps of His Grandfather: A Q&A with AFL Draft Prospect Tom Green
The Green clan might need to add a few more shelves to what must already be an impressive trophy cabinet, as Tom Green gears up to be the next family member to enter the AFL world.
At just 17-years-old Green has already fashioned himself an impressive footballing resume.
The sharp-skilled midfielder has represented the GWS Academy, the Allies Squad and Australia, and has found himself a consistent inclusion on the GWS GIANTS NEAFL list so far this season.
Tom is the eldest Green sibling in the family, but certainly not the only athlete. His younger brother, Josh, is also in the GWS GIANTS Academy and the pair will look to emulate the success of their famous grandfather, Richmond and AFL legend, Michael Green.
Tom will find out if his vision to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and play AFL football will come true when the NAB AFL Draft takes place in late November. Until then he is tasked with the modern-day pressure of being a draft prospect.
Is the young star feeling the pressure? I sat down with Tom to find out.
Q: Tom, it’s a tough journey to the AFL. How have you balanced working, training, a potential AFL career and trying to be a normal teenager?
I struggled to balance everything mainly at the beginning of last year as I was completing Year 12 while trying to play high-level football every weekend. Finding time to complete all school work as well as recover, review and prepare for games each week took some getting used to. I got better as the year went on and learnt how important good time management is. As for trying to be a normal teenager, I still feel like I am, in all honesty, with some minor changes. I hang out with my mates as much as I can between training, travelling for games and Uni work because it helps me unwind. You can get caught up in worrying about yourself and what may happen at the end of the year, but I find spending time with my mates allows me to mess around as any teenager would.
Q: You’ve been involved with the Giants through their academy programs since you were young. What has that experience been like for you?
I can’t speak highly enough about the GWS Giants program and what it’s done for my development. The insight of all the coaches is phenomenal. It has a very distinct pathway to where you want to go, it’s really encouraging and motivating. The extra training sessions every week meant that I was always improving, and still am.
Q: Obviously, there is pressure on any draft prospect ahead of the draft. Does being the grandson of an AFL great add to that pressure?
Not for me. I actually see myself as very fortunate to have a connection like that and if anything has made things slightly easier. Having such a wealth of knowledge at my disposal, as well as the connections my Grandfather still has at Richmond, has greatly helped me and I am very blessed to have such a luxury.
Q: What role has your Grandfather played in your progression as a player and a person?
My Grandfather is one of my biggest role models away from football. More so than maybe anybody else. I look at him and think that is the way I would like to be when I’m his age. The love he shows for his family and friends, his intelligence, his compassion and his wholehearted good nature are attributes I admire greatly. I greatly admire what he achieved in football and his feedback is invaluable. While the game has changed a great deal since he last played, there are universal truths to football that he can help me with and that I admire in his game and try to emulate.
Q: Who else has played a role in getting you to the position you’re in today?
I’m not sure I’d have the time or the space to go through everyone who has helped me. The most key influencers have to be my family and friends. Those closest to me have always been my number one supporters, but also my harshest critics. I know their feedback I get is truthful and constructive. This goes for off the field too. They allow me to be me and help me grow as an individual. The heart of that is my parents.
Q: You trained with the GWS Giants during the AFL pre-season. How was that experience?
Amazing. Getting to know all of the players, coaches and support staff was fantastic. I will be forever grateful to the Giants for allowing me such an awesome opportunity. It was definitely tough and a lot of hard work, but every second was enjoyable.
Q: Who from GWS has been a mentor for you?
All of the players were really welcoming and good to me. The two boys I stayed with while I was in Sydney, Isaac Cumming and Harry Perryman, were amazing to me. I really enjoyed staying with them. Jacob Hopper was another guy who was a great mentor to me. Phil Davis and Callan Ward were great people around the club too, but I feel like I could name all of the players for one reason or another.
Q: What’s does your preparation look like for important games?
I try and approach every game as if it is any other game. I think the more you try and change things week to week, the harder you make it on yourself to play consistently good football. This year, you could look at every game and say it is important because of the ramifications very good or very bad games can have. With consistent preparation, you allow yourself to get in a rhythm and the results flow from there.
Q: What are your goals for this season?
I’d love to tick off a couple of semesters of university well. I’m only going part-time, but to tick those off would be unreal. Football wise, I just want to keep performing at a high level all year. I’ve been really happy with the first part of the year and I think if I can maintain my life balance, I’ll give myself the best opportunity I can to play some good football.
Showcasing maturity beyond his years, Tom Green is a young man destined for greatness and I wish him the very best in the pursuit of his AFL dream.