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Melbourne Football Club

Billy’s dream comes true

DEBUTANT Billy Stretch says “it’s a dream come true” being named for his first AFL match for Melbourne.

Stretch, whose father Steven was a star for the Demons from the mid 1980s to early ‘90s, said he couldn’t believe when he found out he would make his debut with Melbourne against the Sydney Swans at the MCG this Saturday night.

The South Australian was getting a massage at the club when head of development Brett Allison got the ball rolling with him being told the good news.

“I found out [on Thursday afternoon] when Brett Allison came and grabbed me and said to come and see him and then I went to Roosy’s office,” Stretch told  

“I then got the good news from Roosy, so it was a pretty unreal feeling. He said that I’d earned myself a game this week, so I’m just over the moon with the news. He just told me to relax, play your role and enjoy the experience.

“I remember watching the Dees five or 10 years ago and thinking ‘how good would it be to run out with them?’

“But it’s another game of football and I’ve just got to have a crack and treat it that way and keep playing my role. I’m just very excited and thankful for the opportunity.”

Stretch said he didn’t know if would get a call-up this week, after being an emergency for the first time last round.

“I’ve been really enjoying my footy at Casey. There is some really good quality football there and I’ve been playing wing and half-forward,” he said.

“Everyone at the club is driving us to just play your role and back yourself in, so I’ve really tried to take that on board.

“I try to make sure I know my structures really well and play compliant football and play my role as best as I can. But I just can’t believe this opportunity – it’s fantastic.”