AFTER a long road to the AFL, Marty Hore finally got to step out onto the MCG for the first-time last Saturday.
The 23-year-old earned his call-up on the back of winning two best and fairest awards for Collingwood’s VFL side and was thrilled to fulfil his dream of playing in the AFL.
“It’s been quite a journey, so to get the first one ticked off is a good reward, but hopefully many more to come,” Hore told Melbourne Media.
While playing on the big stage was bound to be intimidating, Hore said he remained distracted in the lead up and kept his nerves in check.
“I wasn’t too bad actually,” he said.
“I was too busy organising tickets and all of that sort of stuff, so I wasn’t too nervous – I was pretty relaxed.”
Hore is a pretty calm character, so with plenty of action taking place on the day, he was able to embrace the experience.
“It was a pretty surreal feeling I suppose,” he said.
“In the rooms for the jumper presentation I had my family – plenty of family and friends came down, and a lot of mates from Collingwood VFL came and watched.
“It showed how much it meant to them as well, and just how proud they are of me.
“It was good to have everyone there to support me.”
Although the day didn’t go to script for Hore with the Demons falling to Port Adelaide by 26 points, he will never forget his debut game.
“It was an unreal feeling to hear the crowd roar for the first time,” he said.
“You just kind of pinch yourself. I just took it all in.”
But once the ball was bounced, it was strictly business for Hore.
“You kind of forget about it all,” he said.
“You hear a few big roars every now and then but once you’re out there playing you’re just so worried about the next contest you don’t focus about anything else.”
The intercept defender admitted the jump from the VFL to the AFL is noticeable, taking a little while to settle in.
“I reckon it took me about a quarter to get into the game, but I think I slowly built going into each quarter, feeling a little bit better,” Hore said.
“You don’t have much time to get rid of the footy and find an easy target.
“You’re under the pump the whole time … and can’t be off for a second or you get called out.”
Hore had 14 disposals off half-back on debut, and while he was pleased to pull on the red and blue guernsey for the first time, he is hoping there will be plenty more games to come.
Watch Hore recap his debut game in the Access Melbourne video above.