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Debut the result of perseverance for Switkowski

Sam Switkowski will make his debut against Carlton on Sunday. Sam Switkowski will make his AFL debut on Sunday afternoon against Carlton

After navigating the long road to joining an AFL list and making his debut, Sam Switkowski is looking to join the ranks of a number of successful mature age recruits at Fremantle. 

On Sunday, Switkowski will become Fremantle’s eighth debutant of the season when he runs out against Carlton at Optus Stadium.

Fremantle have seen 83 games played by debutants in 2018, 12 more than any other AFL club and more than double the average of 39. 

The small forward, who was taken with pick no.73 in the 2017 NAB AFL National Draft, expressed his delight at being able to realise his AFL dream.

“It took me four drafts in the end to get here,” Switkowski said. 

“It feels like it’s been a long road but it only makes you work harder.

“I’m just happy I stuck at it and I’m very grateful for the opportunity now.”

Switkowski hasn’t had it easy in his first season at Fremantle, with his year hampered with a recurring hamstring injury.

On the back an impressive 19 disposals and seven tackle performance against East Perth last weekend, the 21-year-old earnt his call-up. 

Most importantly, Switkowski said he’s feeling fit and ready to make the step up to AFL level.

“I’ve got a bit of consistency now with my footy and three solid games back at Peel,” Switkowski said. 

“I’m feeling really strong, really healthy.

I’ve come a long way with my strength, especially with my hamstrings over the year.

“The strength and conditioning team has been massive in helping me get there and I feel that my body is ready to go to play at the highest level.”

Switkowski said he expects he’ll be utilised in a similar way to how he’s been playing at Peel.

“My game’s based around effort, so I’m a small pressure forward,” Switkowski said.

“Pressure’s my strength. I can’t guarantee that I’ll come out and get 20 touches or kick three goals but I’ll be defending super hard and trying all day, running hard and doing the little things and playing my role for the team.

“Hopefully, that’s what will help us and get the result that we want.”

Switkowski said all five members of his immediate family and a number of close friends will be making the trip west for the game.

“They’re all coming and luckily enough I’ve got some good friends jumping on the plane and coming too,” Switkowski said.

“Dad’s got the purple Freo polo, so he might wear that and there’ll be a few scarves and things like that. 

“I can’t wait to run out in front of them and the Purple Army so, hopefully, we get a huge crowd down there.

“We’ve only got two home games left so it would be awesome to see a huge crowd and to get a win.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs