Sports

Who is Nic Martin? From SSP rookie to Rising Star nomination


NIC MARTIN is an introvert and a thinker who has almost accomplished his college diploma in tax accounting. However his path to the AFL reveals a participant with struggle and willpower deep down in his nature. 

The Essendon ahead gained the spherical one NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for his five-goal efficiency in opposition to Geelong, with the popularity coming lower than a month after he joined the Bombers’ checklist throughout the Supplemental Choice Interval. 

His efficiency, which additionally included 27 disposals and 10 marks, was the shining mild for the Bombers in an in any other case flattening loss to Geelong, with the 20-year-old producing certainly one of a number of memorable debuts throughout the competitors. 

Two years after being missed within the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, and following earlier unsuccessful makes an attempt to affix an AFL checklist by the SSP, it was a debut constructed on onerous work, resilience and never giving him up on his AFL dream.

“When he wasn’t taken in the draft as an 18-year-old, I said to him it could be a good thing for you,” Martin’s supervisor Jason Dover instructed AFL.com.au

“Some guys could have simply been drafted, and once you get drafted they might not be on an AFL checklist. We mentioned that two years in the past.

“He realised he may nonetheless go away and work and do an apprenticeship that he most likely would have been doing on an AFL checklist anyway.

“He went to university and studied, but he never sat around and felt sorry for himself and waited to be get picked. He went to work.”

Martin first got here to prominence in WA as a college footy star for Trinity, then impressing as a colts ahead for Subiaco alongside now Port Adelaide goalkicker Mitch Georgiades. 

Golf equipment began to think about him as a top-20 expertise within the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, however the ahead had an under-18s championship that unsettled him and robbed him of confidence. 

Whereas that have noticed him drop off the radar of AFL golf equipment, it instilled in him a way of resilience and willpower. 

Martin and his dad met with Dover after his draft yr and spoke about what {the teenager} may change to get his likelihood at AFL stage.

Suggestions was sourced from these golf equipment that had been most however in the end handed on him, and an inventory of that suggestions sat on the again of his bed room door for the following two years.    

Outstanding on that checklist was to construct his working capability and work on the defensive elements of the sport. 

Nic Martin enjoying for Western Australia within the U18 Championships in 2019. Image: AFL Images

“It was a pretty solid list, but he was one who was happy to get that honest feedback and go to work,” Dover mentioned. 

“He had choices to maneuver WAFL golf equipment, contemplating he was at a extremely sturdy program at Subiaco, however he selected to remain and put his head down and have a large summer season. 

“They challenged him on a number of things, but he never went away and he ponied up and that continued to grow.” 

A powerful coaching stint with West Coast within the lead-up to 2021 had additional fuelled Martin’s starvation and perception, however he was missed after a quad pressure and as a result of Eagles’ ahead line depth at that time. 

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Twelve months later, it was Essendon eager to get a better have a look at Martin having tracked him from afar for 2 years and contemplating him as a rookie. 

Listing supervisor Adrian Dodoro referred to as in December and, understanding he may very well be greater than a ahead, challenged Martin to grow to be an influence runner earlier than becoming a member of the membership in January. 

“Nic was happy to jump on a plane and head over there before Christmas, and not be able to get back due to the border, but Adrian said stay over there, but spend the next three weeks busting your gut and learn to run. We need you to be able to run,” Dover defined. 

Essendon’s Nic Martin in motion in opposition to Geelong in R1, 2022. Image: Getty Pictures

“So he went and got a really good running program, but then he also went and did some sessions with personal trainer Body Majic. When he got over there he was the fittest he’s been.”

The proof of Martin’s new working energy was evident in an Essendon intraclub hitout in February when the 190cm ahead booted 4 objectives and racked up disposals on a wing.  

The Bombers determined at that time they’d checklist him as a rookie, however they needed him to tackle the Western Bulldogs in a follow match the next week earlier than telling him. 

It was solely of matter of minutes after that match ended that he was instructed his AFL dream was a actuality, and he was then despatched out to play half a recreation with the reserves together with his head spinning. 

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There was fixed proof of Martin’s new working energy on Saturday as he created alternatives and kicked objectives after looking out runs the size of the MCG. 

The Bombers have been rewarded for seeing previous his improvement as a ahead and imagining Martin as one thing extra. 

For Dover, who’s now assured Martin will go on to a profitable AFL profession, it is a story that he’ll share with potential draftees for years. 

“They can feel like it’s all or nothing in their 18s year, and that’s why I love Nic’s story,” he mentioned. 

“He may have been certainly one of them, however he did take all of the suggestions and he did take the onerous path. 

“He never asked for any guarantees, he just went to work and I think he deserves some plaudits for the path he’s chosen and the way he has gone about it.”



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