TRENT Rivers’ first week as an AFL player was a big one.
The Perth-born 18-year-old arrived in Melbourne last Sunday afternoon, and had his first session on Gosch’s Paddock the following morning.
Then, just days into his new career, Rivers and Melbourne’s other new recruits, headed out to Rye on a camp, joined by Simon Goodwin, Neville Jetta and Max Gawn.
From Wednesday to Friday last week, the draftees were given an opportunity to find out a little more about the club they’ve just joined, in an experience Rivers thoroughly enjoyed.
“It was awesome to hear the boys’ stories and have them open up to us,” he told Melbourne Media.
“They don’t know us very well, so for them to be able to share their stories made me feel really welcome.
“Everyone opened up, so it helped me feel a bit more connected to everyone in the team.”
While there were some key lessons taught throughout the three-day trip, the bonding aspect was equally as important for the youngsters.
“We played backyard cricket and table tennis, then hit some golf balls down at the driving range, so it was a good bit of fun,” Rivers said.
Rivers was joined on the camp by fellow draftees Luke Jackson and Kysaiah Pickett, as well as off-season recruits Ed Langdon, Adam Tomlinson and Mitch Brown, with the newest Demons finding out what it takes to play in the red and blue.
“The Melbourne person is something I want to become and help build a legacy here,” Rivers said.
“The ultimate goal is to win that cup at the end of the year and that’s what everyone’s striving for, so I want to be a part of that.”
After being selected with pick No.32 in the 2019 National Draft, Rivers has embraced the move and transitioned smoothly into his new home at AAMI Park.
“I’m just figuring out my way around the club, but the boys have been awesome in welcoming all of us, so it’s been great,” he said.
“It hasn’t really sunk in just yet – I thought it would’ve when I first got here.
“All the boys are just so genuine and funny characters, so it just feels like I’m a part of a great bunch of boys.”
And while the AFL lifestyle is an exciting one, it has certainly put Rivers to the test in the early stages.
“Last week was awesome, but very tiring. I was definitely feeling it by the end of the week,” he said.
“At the start of the week you get a bit of energy going, but it kills off towards the end of the week.”
Rivers is currently easing his way into training, with the draftees’ work set to ramp up in the coming weeks.