By Jemma Still
The UNSW/ES Bulldogs and the East Sydney Junior Football Club are absolutely thrilled at the news that local junior Nick Blakey will be making his AFL debut for the Sydney Swans tonight at Marvel Stadium.
Blakey, the number ten draft pick and son of AFL 359-gamer John Blakey, has impressed throughout pre season and looked up to the task during the JLT series, and his dream has now come true as he plays his first game of AFL in round one.
He follows in the same footsteps as his new teammate, Dane Rampe, who was also a product of both local clubs.
Presidents of UNSW/ES, Stephen Dunkley, and East Sydney, Iain Dunstan, have come together to praise Blakey for his work ethic and contribution to football in the Eastern Suburbs.
“Nick played over 100 games for Easts as a junior, and we always knew he was going to be an explosive talent one day”, said Dunstan.
“He was recognised as an immensely skillful player from a young age, but also an all round ‘good guy’, and this debut is so well deserved”
Dunkley echoed Dunstan’s sentiments, noting Blakey played in a Premier Division match as a 17 year old and kicked six goals in a game that really demonstrated his class.
“Not only was he tall for his age, but he had an innate sense of game play that was evident amongst his peers”, said Dunkley.
“He always appears very calm on the football ground, and we’re sure he’ll bring this composure when he makes his debut.”
In a strange twist of fate, his first game in the AFL will be against the Western Bulldogs, but we’ve no doubt that Nick will remember which team he’ll be playing for.