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Whirlwind first week for Ballard

SUNS TV: Charlie Ballard SUNS TV speak to one of our draftee Charlie Ballard after he completed his first week as a Gold Coast player.

Sitting on the couch at home with his family as the 2017 NAB AFL Draft unfolded, Charlie Ballard could feel his nerves growing with every pick.

When his name was finally read out at pick 42 to the Gold Coast SUNS, relief came first, then the waterworks.

“Most of my family members, we all cried so it was little bit emotional but it was all good and a bit of a whirlwind in general,” Ballard told SUNS TV.

“It doesn’t really feel like it’s real at the moment, but I’m just trying to get settled in and it’s been good around the club so I’m enjoying it.”

A very happy Ballard family. Welcome all to the Gold Coast SUNS 😊

A post shared by Gold Coast SUNS (@gcsuns) on


Widely considered to be a bolter in this year’s draft, many pundits were surprised to see the 18-year-old fall so late in selections.

Ballard played in premierships for Sturt’s under-18s and reserves sides this year, just 12 months after being overlooked with concerns he was too small.

But a growth spurt, which saw him grow 15cm in less than two years, now has him standing at 195cm and 82kg. 

“I’m not quite sure what he’s going to turn into in regards to position,” SUNS List and Strategy Manager Scott Clayton said.

“He’s played most of his footy on the wing but at that size he’s going to be able to go back or go forward. 

“He even might be able to go into that inside midfielder role.”

Ballard flew in from Adelaide on Sunday, starting his first day training with the club on Monday.

The South-Australian native is still adjusting to the tropical Queensland climate, but believes the warmer weather is helping him train harder.

“On the first day on Monday it was really warm so that was a bit of a wake up call,” Ballard said. 

“We’re doing a lot of full training sessions and a lot more gym than I usually have been so it’s a bit of a step up, but I’m just trying to get used to it and get in the swing of things.”