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NEAFL: Pink's footy craze

NEAFL Review - Rd 14, 2019 Defender Toby Pink reviews the round 14 match against the Northern Territory Thunder.
You don’t realise how much you love footy until you’re on the sidelines watching the boys out there every week.
Toby Pink

Sydney Swans young gun Toby Pink never realised just how much he enjoyed kicking a footy until last year.

Nursing a broken ankle for all but three games of the season as your beloved teammates chase their AFL dreams is sure to hit anyone hard.

But with a new year has come renewed hope, with Pink having marched up the race for 10 of Sydney’s 12 matches this season.

The towering 20-year-old was on deck for the Swans’ gritty 19-point win over the Northern Territory Thunder in the Top End on Saturday night, and he says he’s delighted to be back in action.

“You don’t realise how much you love footy until you’re on the sidelines watching the boys out there every week,” Pink told SwansTV.

“This year has been good. I’ve played in just about every NEAFL game and haven’t been injured at all. I’m really enjoying it and hopefully I can stick it through to the end of the year.”

Pink arrived at the Swans as a rookie in November 2016 and played as a key forward during his first two seasons at the club, but he has this year shifted to defence.

The 195-centimetre key defender has proven instrumental to Sydney’s back six in the absence of Jack Maibaum, who suffered an ACL rupture on the brink of the season.

While Pink often shadows the opposition’s most threatening key forward, speedsters Ryley Stoddart and Justin McInerney inject a wealth of spring off half-back.

Pink played as a key defender in junior footy and is now a student to the example of All Australian backman Dane Rampe, who he hopes to one day join in the AFL.

“There’s always that goal to get a senior game,” Pink said.

“It’s always been a dream of mine and hopefully, if I keep playing consistent footy, the selectors will keep an eye on me and pick me for a match.”