If there was ever a time to produce your best performance on the track, the AFL National Combine would be that moment. For Jeremy Sharp, that performance has been three years in the making.
The East Fremantle wingman’s stellar year continued this week in Melbourne for the National Combine, showing both pace and endurance to impress AFL recruiters once again on the big stage.
Sharp produced a rapid 2.97 second 20-metre sprint, before showcasing his stamina with a 21.3 in the Yo Yo Test, missing out on the winning level by 0.5.
“The ability to run has always been one of my key strengths,” Sharp said. “I probably didn’t think I would do as well in the 20-metre sprint, but I always thought I had could have a pretty good crack at the 2km.”
“I was really stoked to be honest with my testing results. Finishing the year really early due to not making Finals really gave me an opportunity to get fit and work on my game.”
The two-time All-Australian has seen plenty of highs in 2019 including a debut in the East Fremantle League side, before playing a pivotal role in WA’s first U18s title in 10 seasons.
The testing, however, provided the perfect insight into life as an AFL player.
“It was a mentally tough week, but we train all year for this sort of stuff,” he claimed.
“I was rapt with the way I performed; a pretty enjoyable week overall.”
“We all have a bit on our plate – I had 10 interviews in the space of two days – it was tough. Someone like myself I love talking about footy though, so it definitely wasn’t something I dreaded.”
Many AFL clubs view Sharp as a viable option for their list next season, however the 18-year-old isn’t getting ahead of himself before the November 27 Draft.
“If the opportunity does arise and I do get lucky enough to get on a list – I think I’m ready,” Sharp mentioned.”
“I don’t really know what to expect yet, not being around the environment but I would love to get picked up – it’s always been my dream and just giving it a red-hot crack.”
The National Combine saw 15 Western Australian’s invited to test and Sharp believes plenty of the credit should be directed at the Simply Energy WA Talent Pathway.
“The West Australian Football Commission has been huge,” he said.
"Adam Jones (Talent Manager) has always been on my side and you can flick questions off to him anytime.”
“He knows everything about the system and is such a professional.”
“Blokes like Scott Goodin (Athlete Development Coordinator) have been great in preparing us physically and are just good people in general. Everyone has been super important to us.”
It’s a year that the youngster will never forget, hopefully complete with his name read out on Draft night.