By Natalee Kerr
Last year Geelong’s young gun Jordan Clark made the decision to drop the Kookaburra to pursue a career in football.
Now seven months into his time at Kardinia Park, Clark has earned an AFL Rising Star nomination.
“It’s not a huge focus of mine at the moment but obviously it’s a nice recognition,” Clark said this week.
The 18-year-old was a stand-out in Geelong’s 27-point win against Adelaide last Friday, posting a career-best 23 possessions, including a goal.
The former budding cricketer once represented Australia at under-16 level as a fast bowler but dropped his cricket commitments to follow the AFL pathway instead.
Selected by the Cats as pick No.15 in the 2018 AFL Draft, the Western Australian product has impressed in his first year, despite not yet completing a full preseason.
Since debuting in round one, the midfielder has played 13 of 14 games this season, only missing one match due to being rested.
Clark said receiving one-on-one mentorship with skipper Joel Selwood has helped his strong start to his AFL career.
“He’s been really good for me,” he said.
“Learning things and advice from the captain is always pretty good.”
Clark said he gets along “pretty well” with his older teammate, which has led to weekly dinners at the Selwood residence.
“I’ve spent a few nights a week at his for dinner, especially before games,” he said.
“The night before dinner just sort of caught on after having a good game once and it’s just built from there.
“Brit (Selwood’s fiance) whips up a spag bol, it’s a bit different actually the way she cooks it, but I like it.”
Clark said he hopes to be at the Cats for the “long-term” after signing a contract extension earlier this year until the end of 2022.
“It would be nice that I was at Geelong for my whole career,” he said.
The ladder-leaders will take on 13th placed Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium this Saturday night.
The Bulldogs sit on a 6-8 record and are coming off a recent 25-point win against Port Adelaide.
Cats coach Chris Scott said the Bulldogs have “clearly” been in good form in the last few weeks.
“Compared to some teams they can move the ball a lot faster and they can be hard to stop If they get the game on their terms,” he said.
But Geelong have a strong record against the Bulldogs, winning the past nine out of ten games. The most recent being a 44-point win at home in round nine.
“It feels like only a week or two ago that we played them last time,” Scott said.
“The game was pretty tight until late in the piece, so we are aware of the challenge.”