Wait over for new Blue

Ner­vous Martin gets the Carl­ton call, fi­nally

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - SAM EDMUND AFL

JACK Martin had put on a brave face, but then the con­ver­sa­tion turned to Stephen Sil­vagni. With the Carl­ton list boss watch­ing over Martin’s press con­fer­ence un­veil­ing on a sun­drenched Ikon Park, Martin of­fered a brief in­sight into his six weeks of tor­ment. The Gold Coast-Carl­ton trade fell over, the Suns threat­ened to re-draft him and Mel­bourne made noises about hi­jack­ing the deal in what was a white-knuckle roller coaster ride for the shy 24-year-old from Broome. “You want to be con­fi­dent (of get­ting to Carl­ton), but it’s ob­vi­ously hard,” Martin said, tears welling. “You’re just sit­ting back and wait­ing. But when I got the phone call this morn­ing from SOS I was … ex­cited and happy. And emo­tional.” Ex­cept Martin didn’t an­swer that call. He was out for break­fast with whom he hoped were about to be­come his new Carl­ton team­mates when Sil­vagni’s calls went unan­swered. Such were the pre-sea­son draft day nerves, Martin was only nib­bling on a piece of toast and down­ing his third cof­fee when Pa­trick Cripps passed him his phone with the mes­sage he’d been des­per­ate to hear. He was a Carl­ton player. “The last few weeks have been stress­ful, but there’s a sense of ex­cite­ment and hap­pi­ness and, I guess, re­lief at the same time,” Martin said. Yet Martin ar­rives a tal­ent un­ful­filled. Touted as the most tal­ented ju­nior many ex­perts had seen, his six sea­sons at the Suns were a mix of the sub­lime and the or­di­nary. For Martin’s part, he said he was hun­gry to de­liver in the footy heart­land. “Just get­ting to Mel­bourne and play­ing for a big club — I want the chal­lenge,” he said. “I think I’m ready. I want to come to Mel­bourne and I want to prove my­self and I’m ready for the chal­lenges ahead. I’ve com­mit­ted for five years and to give ev­ery­thing to the Carl­ton Foot­ball Club. I just want to be amongst footy in Mel­bourne and ex­pe­ri­ence it all.” Then there’s the Eddie Betts fac­tor. “I’m that ex­cited I can’t wait,” Martin said. “Just to play with an in­dige­nous great, who is back at Carl­ton. I can’t wait to run out next to him.”

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