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Debut a dream come true, says Lovell

Kieran Lovell Interview Lovell speaks to HawksTV after being named for his debut.
Kieran Lovell will make his AFL debut against GWS Giants on Saturday.

SIX months ago, Kieran Lovell was rapt to become a Hawk.

The Tasmanian midfielder had his name called out at pick 22 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft – making his lifelong dream of playing AFL football one step closer to becoming a reality.

On Saturday, that dream will come true.

The 18-year-old will make his debut for the Hawks against GWS Giants at Spotless Stadium – and it’s a moment he can’t wait for.

“I’m pretty excited obviously, it’s a dream come true,” Lovell told hawthornfc.com.au today.

“I’m just rapt and hope that I can do alright.”

He may have only been a Hawk for six months, but the humble Huonville product has already made a big impression.

A strong pre-season led to a NAB Challenge berth, and a strong start to the VFL season has led to an AFL debut.

Lovell couldn’t believe it when Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson called him into his office to break the news on Thursday morning.

“He just pulled me into his office – I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” he said.

“I was a bit in shock to start with, but I’m just so excited.”

Lovell entered the doors of the Ricoh Centre with the aim of “bettering himself” – and learning from the likes of Jordan Lewis and Sam Mitchell.

“I just want to work hard to improve myself and improve the club,” Lovell said on draft night.

“Being a part of such a professional club, I think it will be so good for my football development, learning off blokes like Sam Mitchell who I admire.”

And that’s exactly what he’s done.

After averaging 35 possessions per game for Tasmania in last year’s under-18 national championships, Lovell has gone from strength to strength.

He picked up seven disposals in just over a half of footy against Richmond in the NAB Challenge, before being one of Box Hill’s standouts in the first three rounds of the VFL season.

Twenty-five disposals and a goal against Sandringham in Round 1 was followed by five goals against reigning premiers Williamstown in Round 2. Another 20 disposals against Coburg at the weekend made it too hard to leave Lovell out of the senior side.

He’s already earned comparisons to star teammate Sam Mitchell – and he’s yet to play a game.

But on Saturday, Lovell will have the chance to write his own story.

And he’ll do it in front of family and friends, wearing the number 36, in brown and gold.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs