SAM De Koning was named at full-back in the under-18 All-Australian team, but he’s more than comfortable if a move further up the field will earn him a crack at AFL level.
Geelong recruiting boss Stephen Wells was quick to hose down talk of De Koning being the heir apparent for to veteran defender Harry Taylor following last week’s National Draft – and it appears that conversation has been had with the former Dandenong Stingrays.
“That was the huge thing during the interview process with Wells,” De Koning said.
“He spoke to me about whether I can play other positions, and am I willing to play those, and I was all for it. I’m here to learn, and I’m here to learn the craft of footy.
“I love every aspect of the game, so to have so many players to get information off, whether that be in the backline, in the ruck, or up forward, I’m really keen to do so.
“Anywhere the coach wants me I’ll play.”
First on the agenda for De Koning is bulking up his slight 86kg frame, with the brother of Carlton’s Tom eager to hit the gym.
“I think I’m more keen than they (the club) are at the moment,” he said.
“They’re taking a little bit of caution to ease us into the pre-season, but I’m rearing to go.
“I’m talking to the dietitian about what I should be eating and really bulking up so I can fit into the jumper and hopefully play next season.”
Although from the other side of Melbourne, De Koning, whose father Terry played 31 games for Footscray in the early 1980s, should have no trouble settling in with a number of relatives living in the region.
“We came down here a lot because we had a place at Torquay, which we stayed at ever since we were kids,” he said.
“I have a few older siblings who live on the Surf Coast, and it’s like a second home to me.
“I’m so stoked to be here.