draftee Garrett McDonagh has revealed how he emailed AFL clubs in a desperate attempt to be picked up in this year's draft.
The 25-year-old's lifelong dream was finally realised when he was drafted by Essendon with pick 50 on the second night of the , a dream that had been years in the making.
McDonagh was taken aback by the selection, which came after a solid season with Richmond's VFL side, and explained how he'd taken matters into his own hands in the lead-up to the draft.
"I was expecting nothing," McDonagh said.
"I wrote to a few clubs after last season, just to get my name out there. I had no manager so I was trying to do it myself, I just wrote to a few clubs and had a response from a few of them.
"A couple of weeks ago I had a call from [Essendon list boss Adrian Dodoro] and it was an amazing call, one I'll never forget."
McDonagh's selection is made even more incredible by the fact that he'd fallen out of love with the sport and virtually given up a couple of years earlier.
"There was faith lost, I gave up footy at the start of 2018, I went and did [American football] punting with Nathan Chapman at ProKick," he said.
"I sat down and had a really good think, [I] wanted to put my best foot forward and spend some money on my body, I did that and here I am."
McDonagh is the second member of Richmond's VFL team to find a spot on Essendon's list after halfback Sam Durham was picked up by the Bombers in the mid-season draft.
"Garrett is a player who deserves an opportunity," Dodoro told Essendon's website.
"We felt he was one of the better ready-made players in the pool this year. Even though he's 25 years of age, we think he's got a lot of football left in him.
"He's an elite left-foot kick and has fantastic endurance. We're looking forward to him playing a lot of senior football for us."