DUNSBOROUGH's Tom Derickx, 24, is set to make his AFL debut for Richmond after being named in the Tigers team to play Melbourne at the MCG, on Saturday.
Derickx, who is a 201cm ruckman/forward, was drafted to Richmond with pick 63 in the 2010 National Draft.
He had an injury-riddled first season at the Tigers, initially battling a heel complaint and then sustaining a broken ankle, which ruled him out for the second half of the year.
But, Derickx has bounced back in 2012 and has been in good for the Tigers VFL affiliate Coburg in recent weeks, alternating between key back and key forward posts, with strong marking a feature of his game.
His promotion follows the club-imposed suspension of Dustin Martin and the sacking of Daniel Connors.
The 22-year-old former Dunsborough and Augusta-Margaret River Hawks player was chosen with pick 63 in the 2010 AFL National Draft.
Tom said his selection in the 2010 AFL National Draft came as a surprise.
“I’m pretty shocked – I wasn’t expecting to get picked in the draft, I thought maybe in the rookie draft,” he said.
“I’m stoked – I can’t describe the feeling when my name was called. It was a mixture of relief and excitement.”
His dad Rick is a keen Eagles supporter, but won’t be too put out by having to follow another AFL team.
“I’ve always been a good Claremont supporter, so I won’t have to change what I yell out too much,” he said.
He said the family would travel to his debut when Tom made his debut.
Tom played juniors for the Dunsborough Football Club before following older brother Nick to play colts for the Augusta-Margaret River Hawks.
Tom missed a year and a half with a broken leg before bouncing back to play league footy for the Hawks for a couple of seasons.
He then moved up to Claremont, again following in his brother’s footsteps, where he notched up a year in their reserves in 2009.
A good pre-season, coupled with a late growth spurt, was the catalyst for Tom to have a strong year at Claremont.
He went on to play every league game in 2010, as a ruckman/forward, culminating in a grand-final appearance.
Although his side went down by the narrowest of margins, Tom played well, collecting 10 disposals, 20 hit-outs and a goal.
Tom, who stands at 201cm and weighs 100kg, said the first inkling he got that AFL clubs were interested was about halfway into the season.
“Midway through the year the club (Claremont) told me a few (AFL) clubs had expressed interest in me.
“Then I attended the state screening and I thought I was a chance,” he said.
“Playing AFL has always been my dream, but it never seemed a realistic one.”
His mum, Chris, said their whole family, including Tom’s brothers Nick, 24, and Jacob, 18, were proud of him.
“He deserves it, he has worked so hard,” she said.
Tom's brother Nick has been one of the Hawks' League team's best players so far this season.