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SUNS TV: Coaches Chat - Round 22

4:38pm  Aug 17, 2018

SUNS TV: Bowes Presser

2:10pm  Aug 17, 2018

Team Announcement: Round 22

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A mixture of nerves and excitement for Ainsworth

Kieron Turner  March 23, 2017 5:08 PM

SUNS TV: Ben Ainsworth GC SUNS draftee Ben Ainsworth speaks to SUNS TV
I’ve spoken to a few players and they basically just said enjoy it, it’s a great experience, you’ll only do it once so just go out there and do it.

Just two sleeps out from arguably the biggest day of his life, Ben Ainsworth admits to feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement.

Selected with pick No. 4 in last year’s National Draft, the 19-year-old will make his AFL debut for the Gold Coast SUNS in round one against Brisbane this Saturday night at Metricon Stadium, the realisation of a lifelong dream.

“I suppose there’s a combination of nervousness and excitement but the boys are getting around us and hopefully (I can) just enjoy it,” Ainsworth told SUNS TV on Thursday.

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“It’s obviously a good feeling. I think Jack Bowes is doing it as well so it’s good to do it alongside him and hopefully we can get a good result on the weekend.”

As with any AFL debutant, there are no expectations on the first-year player to set the football world alight in his first outing at the elite level. The message from his coaches and teammates alike is to simply enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“There hasn’t been a clear message but I think it’s just a matter of going out there and enjoying yourself,” Ainsworth said.

“I’ve spoken to a few players and they basically just said enjoy it, it’s a great experience, you’ll only do it once so just go out there and do it.”

The Gippsland Power product will be in good hands, with captain Tom Lynch leading the SUNS forward line where Ainsworth will spend most of his time.

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It’s likely Ainsworth will also share the forward 50 arc with dual Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett at some point, which he admits is a daunting proposition, but one he’s looking forward to as the club looks to get its 2017 season off to a good start.

“It’s pretty daunting actually lining up beside them but it should be a good weekend and hopefully we can get the win on the board,” he said.