IT’S MELBOURNE FOR OUR MARTY
IT’S BEEN a long wait for Marty Hore.
On the fringes of an AFL opportunity seemingly forever, the 22-yearold (pictured) has been dominating in the VFL, doing everything possible to prove that he could make it in the big league. And then it happened. At pick 56 in the draft, Hore’s name was called — the man who had claimed the past two best and fairest awards for Collingwood in the VFL was heading to the oldest club in Australia as a new Melbourne Demon.
Two days later, the excitement has gone nowhere. ‘‘I’m still pretty happy,’’ he said. ‘‘I think it is starting to sink in that I’m going to be an AFL player, and it’s fantastic that I get to be a part of the Melbourne Football Club.
‘‘They’re a really exciting group, they’re still very young and have some incredible players, it’s a pretty exciting time to become a part of the club.’’
But when that pick was read out, Hore wasn’t sitting on his phone or in front of the TV watching the broadcast.
He was out of range of the TV and social media, way out in a farflung paddock driving an excavator on his family’s Leitchville farm.
‘‘I’ve been home and working on the farm since footy season ended,’’ he said.
‘‘I got on with my day as normal, continued to do my work and waited while the draft was on. Then dad called and said I was picked up by Melbourne so I ran in pretty quickly.’’
Hore didn’t have much to worry about.
A member of the 2018 VFL team of the year, Hore looked like one of the best defenders in the draft pool.
‘‘I thought that I had been producing some really good and consistent footy the past two seasons in the VFL, I’ve been able to have an impact on the game in my role as a defender.
‘‘I’ve been really happy and knew I had given myself the best chance that I could to get into the AFL system.’’
Though, he admits, he wasn’t sure Melbourne would be the club taking him.
‘‘I talked with Melbourne in the middle of the year,’’ he said.
‘‘I had conversations with eight clubs throughout the season, including a few in the lead up to the draft.
‘‘But we (Melbourne and Hore) hadn’t spoken in a while so I wasn’t really sure if I was on their radar. It was a pleasant surprise to have them call my name out.’’
He will join Echuca’s first AllAustralian Clayton Oliver, as well as former resident and Demon’s cocaptain Jack Viney in the red and blue. And he’s ready to go now. ‘‘I have a meet and greet tonight (Sunday night) with the club, and will probably get my instructions from there.
‘‘I had a minor ankle surgery in the wash up for the season, so I think it will be a case of them checking it out and then letting me train.
‘‘The first to fourth year players are currently on the track, with the rest of the group returning in a week, so hopefully I can get straight into it.’’
While Hore was allowed to speak to media, fellow local draftee Lachlan Schultz, who was taken at the next pick (57), was placed under a media gag by his club, which he hoped would be lifted in coming days.