New Fremantle draftee Sam Sturt was thrilled to sign with Fremantle and said he is looking forward to starting a new life in Western Australia.

Fremantle drafted the forward with pick no.17 at Thursday night’s opening round of the NAB AFL National Draft from the Dandenong Stingrays.

Sturt admitted it would be sad to leave his family but the 18-year-old remained excited about the prospect of moving across Australia.

“It’s amazing. It’s the best experience and the best feeling of my life,” Sturt said. 

“It was emotional, I think Mum was pretty upset but that’s just out of pure excitement and being happy for me. It was a good moment.

“I just want a new experience and with WA being close to the beach and being nice and hot, it’s just an ideal place for me at the moment.”

Sturt impressed with his speed at the Dandenong Stingrays after joining the club late in the 2018 TAC Cup season.

He played a starring role in their grand final win, kicking two goals with 15 disposals, six marks and five inside 50s. 

“I’d say I’m pretty clean and I’m fairly fast so I’m good on a lead and then can hit up tall forwards,” Sturt said.

“I like to use my speed to push off opponents to get separation on the lead and use my agility to get around the ground.”

Sturt arrives at the club on Monday and the former cricketer said the biggest test at Fremantle would come when he tackles a football pre-season for the first time.

Prior to 2018, Sturt’s main focus had been cricket before joining the Stingrays in July.

“It’s pretty overwhelming, I haven’t really done a pre-season anywhere but we’ll see how we go,” Sturt said.

“I think I can transition fairly well but an AFL standard of pre-season is going to be a lot higher than club cricket, so I’m really looking forward to it but I’m also a little bit nervous.

“I feel like once I develop my body and get my endurance right, I can become a much better player.”

After debuting for the Stingrays in round 14 of the TAC Cup, Sturt led the league in score assists and tackles inside 50 and was also top five in the league for goals and score involvements in that period. 

General manager of football Peter Bell said Sturt has a high ceiling after showing so much with his limited footballing background.

“We’re really excited to draft Sam, he’s a player with enormous upside,” Bell said.

“Athletically, he’s super quick and he’s got a really good jump on him. 

“Since he came into the Dandenong Stingrays system, he’s impressed a lot of people and we’re thrilled to have him at Freo.

“He can really jump as well and he’s also good with his second efforts back at the footy. We think he’s a really tough matchup with enormous athletic upside and we’re thrilled to bring him in.”

Fremantle’s draft will continue on Friday morning from 9am WST with picks in the second, third and fourth round.

Currently, Fremantle’s remaining picks stand at 34, 41 and 59.