An early birthday present has come the way of South Australian youngster Jordan Dawson after the 19-year-old was named to make his AFL debut.
Dawson, selected with Pick 56 in the 2015 National Draft, will celebrate his 20th birthday this week a couple of days after the Swans’ fifth debutant takes on Collingwood on Friday night.
“I haven’t really thought about (the match) too much as I am just trying to stay switched off until Friday and then I will be ready to go,” Dawson told SwansTV.
“It has been a bit of a surreal day or so and I am obviously pretty nervous but also excited to get out there with the boys.”
After a calf injury interrupted his pre-season campaign, Dawson has shown strong form in the NEAFL over the last month to earn himself a call up.
Having played most of his football through the midfield, as part of the NEAFL side, Dawson is set to be called upon as a forward on Friday night.
“I am definitely feeling comfortable because my form in the NEAFL has been pretty good so I was just trying to string a few games together,” Dawson said.
“My injury throughout the pre-season was holding me back a bit but it was good to get some consistency in the NEAFL and be rewarded.
“Hopefully playing as that third or fourth tall I can kick a few goals.”
The 189cm utility, who’s blessed with a booming left foot, was told the news by senior coach John Longmire earlier this week.
He was called into the Match Committee room only to be confronted by three of Dawson’s key mentors all in a row.
“There was John (Longmire), Shawry (Rhyce Shaw) and Blakes (John Blakey) and Horse asked me if I was ready to go Friday and I said of course,” he explained.
“It was a bit of a shock but I am obviously now really keen to get out there.”
Dawson follows in the footsteps of Oliver Florent, Will Hayward, Nic Newman and Robbie Fox who’ve debuted this season.