The build-up for Michael Walters’ 150th game will be significantly more intense than his debut back in 2009.
The Fremantle star will reach the milestone this Saturday night when Freo take on Essendon at Optus Stadium.
Fittingly, Walters will run out with his teammates wearing the original anchor jumper the club wore between 1995 and 2010, with Walters playing a handful of games in that strip in 2009 and 2010.
Walters said his first AFL appearance against Port Adelaide in round 11, 2009, was an unexpectedly relaxed affair.
The then 18-year-old was a late call up for Hayden Ballantyne, who was set to play his first AFL game in the clash.
But a hamstring injury meant Ballantyne would have to wait a few more weeks to get his Freo call-up, opening the door for Walters who was flown in for the game.
“It was pretty cruisey,” Walters said.
“With Hayden’s hamstring, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to play, so they flew me over and I waited for a fitness test.
“In saying that, I wasn’t that focused on the game, I was thinking that Hayden was going to get through it and play - until I got the call up that day.
“I didn’t really have time to get nervous, I didn’t have time to think about the game, I just went out there and played.”
Walters earnt plenty of praise from a lively debut, kicking a goal and setting up Matthew Pavlich and Scott Thornton for two more.
Despite the short notice, Walters said he felt fortunate that the game was played in Adelaide.
“Flying over to South Australia, and that’s where all my family is from, so luckily enough I was able to play my first game over there.”