Archie Perkins’ manager says the AFL draft hopeful understands he could end up away from home despite the teenager’s wish to remain in Victoria.
The potential first-round draft pick set the footy world abuzz on Wednesday morning, admitting he had told AFL clubs he was not ready to move away from home city Melbourne.
While players have told suitors this in the past – most recently now-Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith in 2018 – Perkins took the unusual step of making his intentions public just hours before the draft.
But player agent Robbie D’Orazio believes Perkins’ comments came out more provocative than the midfield-forward had intended.
“(Perkins is) a complex character but he understands that footy’s a team sport and he’s probably learning the ropes in that regard,” D’Orazio told AFL Draft Radio.
“I know that all he wants to do is play footy. He said something this morning that probably didn’t come out the way he meant it.
“He understands that it’s a draft and he needs to enter the draft and he could end up anywhere. He’s excited about that.
“Look, boys wants to be him and girls want to be with him. He’s a ripper.”
D’Orazio admits recruiters are probably not thrilled by Perkins’ comments but says he’s yet to receive any backlash..
“Clubs sometimes call their bluff. I remember Adam Cerra probably didn’t want to go to Fremantle (in 2017), and he ended up extending his contract (with the Dockers),” he said.
Perkins could go early in the draft, with Essendon a chance to use one of their three top-10 picks on the Sandringham Dragons flyer.
He said he was “not ready” to head to one of the eight AFL clubs based outside of Victoria.
“I don’t think it would be in their best interests as a footy club to have me there because I wouldn’t be 100 per cent with it, and couldn’t really commit myself 100 per cent as opposed to staying here,” Perkins told SEN.
“I would be ready to go and fully committed. I just don’t think I’m ready for that and I wanted to be honest about it.”
There have been suggestions Perkins’ interview was in breach of draft rules.
The AFL has been contacted by AAP but they won’t be making any comment.