Last year, Neil Erasmus was presented with a choice: football or cricket.
Erasmus was on the verge of a promising cricket career, being a prolific run-scorer at district junior level for Scarborough.
He also played four third-grade matches in 2020, and featured in a WACA talent identification carnival among the best young cricketing talent in WA.
However, it was the physical side of football that drew Erasmus in, and eventually led the new Freo Docker to the decision to leave cricket behind to pursue an AFL career.
Erasmus took last summer off from playing cricket, instead opting to focus on getting a strong pre-season under his belt ahead of the 2021 season.
“I used to take cricket and footy equally as seriously and then I started growing a bit more and taking a liking to the physical side of things,” Erasmus told ABC Breakfast.
“I fell in love with footy more and left the cricket side behind.
“I think that I had always been tossing and turning between which sport I liked better,” Erasmus told Triple M Breakfast.
“But, footy was also more exciting to play and to watch…and that’s all she wrote, I haven’t really looked back.”
Many Fremantle fans on social media are now familiar with the significant reaction from Erasmus’ friends, at the very moment his name was called out on Wednesday night.
His mates, who Erasmus had left behind at school leavers just days prior, erupted into cheers when the midfielder’s AFL dreams were realised.
“JL’ (Justin Longmuir) was actually the first person to show me the video, it was pretty cool to see that,” Erasmus told ABC Breakfast.
“That was some of my close mates down at leavers, they all gathered there and watched it on Kayo.
“I didn’t expect them to go that hard, but I’m not surprised.”