Gold Coast Academy product Connor Nutting has fulfilled a lifelong dream after being drafted by the SUNS in the National Draft in late November.

Taken at pick no. 55, the Broadbeach local moves onto the SUNS’ senior list after first joining the club’s Academy as a teenager.

Nutting is acutely aware of the increased demands that he’ll confront as an AFL footballer, but that won’t deter him.

“It’s definitely a big step up from the Academy but it’s an unreal feeling,” Nutting told SUNS TV.

“As a little kid, you’re dreaming of being out there playing footy with the big guys and now it’s a real thing, so it’s just a really good feeling.”

Having spent a number of years in the SUNS’ Academy, the 185cm rebounding defender was quick to acknowledge the quality of the program, led by Academy Head Coach Andrew Raines.

“I’ve been here since under 15s and just making our way up each year with the amazing program that they have going on, it’s a really good pathway.” Nutting said.

WATCH: Get to know - Connor Nutting

The quality of his performances during the Academy Series, and throughout the NEAFL season, lead to a call up to the Allies halfway through the U18 National Championships.

He averaged 11 disposals over two games, however it was his rebound from defence that really caught the eye.

Since being drafted, Nutting’s attention quickly turned towards the training track.

It was only a matter of days before he was out completing a full session with the main squad. 

“I came in straight away (last Monday) and that was a full day session. I’ve been doing craft, cross-training, boxing and a lot of weight sessions.

“Then on top of that there’s recovery and all those things.” he said.