Michael Manteit, formerly from Phillip Island, was selected by the Collingwood Football Club in the AFL Rookie Draft last Wednesday. He joins San Remo’s Brent Macaffer and Wonthaggi’s Jarryd Blair at the club.
THE Collingwood Football Club continued its association with players from the Bass Coast region when it selected Michael Manteit at Wednesday’s AFL Rookie Draft.
The 18 year old, formerly from Phillip Island, was selected by the Magpies with pick eight in the rookie draft and said he was excited to be drafted.
“It’s such a good place to be given the opportunity with the massive supporter base and a lot of people getting around you,” he said.
“It’s close to home living in Port Melbourne and they have some massive names.”
Michael played junior footy with Phillip Island and made his senior debut for the Bulldogs as a 14 year old in 2011.
He then relocated to Melbourne with his parents Mark and Meredith in 2012 and attended Melbourne High School for Year 11 and 12.
The talented sportsman played with Melbourne High School Old Boys in the VAFA and managed to play a handful of games at Kilcunda-Bass during bye weekends.
It was with the Melbourne High School Old Boys that he gained the attention of the Sandringham Dragons and was selected to play for the TAC Cup team this season.
Michael excelled at the Dragons and a consistent season earned him a spot in the Vic Metro team for the Under 18 National Championships.
He was a solid performer for Vic Metro across the championship before returning to the Dragons where he finished the season strongly.
Overlooked in National Draft recently, the Magpies’ recruiting team saw enough in the youngster to give him a rookie spot.
Michael said he has worked hard for a spot on an AFL list.
“I did a lot of extra running sessions and ran every day – lots of really hard running and I pushed myself to the limit,” he said.
“It’s been a lot of hard work over the past year so there’s nothing more rewarding than being drafted.”
The new Magpie visited the Westpac Centre on Wednesday and started training Thursday morning with a tough beach session.
The half back/winger will join San Remo’s Brent Macaffer and Wonthaggi’s Jarryd Blair in the black and white.
He met coach Nathan Buckley for the first time on Wednesday and said it was pretty daunting.
“It was a good experience and I’m sure he’ll be good to work with in the coming year,” he said.
“My number one goal at the moment is to get the respect of all of the playing group and the coaches, and to get as fit as I can.”
When quizzed as to when he would be getting his first tattoo, Michael laughed and quickly replied.
“It’s amazing how many people have said that,” he said.
“Out of all the people that have said congratulations, 70 per cent of people have asked that, but I won’t be expecting any neck tattoos or anything soon.”
The new draftee is looking forward to the challenge, but is also humble and appreciates the involvement of everyone who’s helped get him to this point.
“I’m absolutely thankful for the opportunity from the Collingwood Football Club,” he said.
“I’d like to thank Phillip Island, Kilcunda-Bass and Melbourne High School Old Boys for giving me the opportunities they gave me and I appreciate everyone’s support.”