Sydney Swans draftee Matthew Roberts says the last week has been a whirlwind but a dream come true as the 18- year old took another step closer to fulfilling his childhood dream.
Selected with pick 34 of the 2021 AFL draft, Roberts is a hard-working midfielder with an ability to play forward, known for his quality football IQ and having a keen eye for goal. He has also been highly touted for his professional development in recent seasons.
Roberts arrived from Adelaide on Sunday and joined the Swans for training earlier this week, and said said it has been a dream come true.
“It’s been a whirlwind week," Roberts said.
"From when I got drafted on Thursday night, it’s been pretty full on and a busy few days to get my bags packed to get here on Sunday,” Roberts said.
“It’s a dream come true, not only for me, but my friends and family as well.
“It’s been nice to reward all my family and friends for all the hard work they have put it to me over the years.
“The first few days have flown by really quick, there is a lot to take in and think about but it’s been nice to get into the swing of things before the Christmas break,” Roberts added.
Finding out the news of his selection last Thursday with his closest friends and family, Roberts went through a whirlwind of emotions on the night.
It was another step towards Roberts’ fulfilling his childhood dream.
“I was at home with about 10 or so of my close mates and my family and they jumped all over me when my name was read out,” Roberts said.
“It was a pretty cool night and I am relieved and really grateful to the Swans for picking me.
“I was over the moon, it's amazing to have your name read out and to fulfil your childhood dream of becoming an AFL footballer.”
Consistently hitting the scoreboard with his accurate left boot, Roberts is revered for his hard-work ethic and competitive nature, while also proving to be tough in the contest with an ability to play outside.
Thriving in all competitions he's played, including SANFL League and SANFL Reserves, he also represented South Australia at consecutive Under 16 national Championships.
With his ability to play as a midfielder or forward, Roberts is confident in his skills that have got him to this point, but he is eager to continue to learn from his new teammates including two of the best in Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy.
“I am really looking forward to working with Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy, inside-mids who are similar to myself, and just getting to know how they go about their preparation and craft," Roberts said.
“I feel my strengths are ball-winning and inside contested work. I want to be a really good ball user and clean below the knees but also have the ability to go forward and have an impact there,” he added.
“I feel like I am confident enough to slot into a forward role or through the mid but I am trying to keep a really open mind and take everything as it comes.”