LUKE Jackson’s journey as an AFL player is officially underway.
The Demons’ No.3 draft pick landed in Melbourne on Sunday evening and has settled into his new life swiftly.
Just five days after being recruited to the club, Jackson was out on the track at Gosch’s Paddock, running around with some of his childhood heroes.
“All the boys were really welcoming and I’m kind of pinching myself training with all these guys because I’ve looked up to them so much,” he told Melbourne Media.
Although the 18-year-old and his fellow draftees were on lighter duties, they were just happy to be amongst it.
“We did a few drills to start off with and then sat out a bit, but they’ve all been really good,” Jackson said.
As part of the club’s induction program, Melbourne’s three newest recruits are spending the next week with some senior teammates – an initiative Jackson is looking forward to.
“I landed around 5pm yesterday and I’m staying with Aaron (vandenBerg) and Angus (Brayshaw),” he said.
“I’ll do that for the week and then I’ll move in with Trent (Rivers) and Kozzy (Pickett) until Christmas.
“[Brayshaw and vandenBerg] are good lads. We went out for dinner last night and [they’ve] just been really welcoming.”
And while moving over from Perth as a teenager is certainly intimidating, things have been made easier for Jackson who had a familiar face by his side.
His close friend Trent Rivers was selected by the Dees in the second round of the National Draft – a dream outcome for the young pair.
“I was ecstatic – I was really happy for him,” Jackson said.
“To be going to Melbourne together is just really good and I just can’t wait to train with him.
“We’ve been playing junior footy at East Freo together, so we’ve known each other for ages.
“To have him here is just really comforting, to have your best mate here – there’s nothing better.”
It was the first of many days at AAMI Park for Jackson, who at 199cm, will be an exciting player to watch develop in the future.