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Stocker's surprise delight

Stocker's pleasant surprise Sam McClure spoke to Liam Stocker the morning after being selected with Pick No. 19 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft.

LIAM Stocker said he had “no clue” about Carlton’s interest before he became a Blue on Thursday night.

In what was the biggest talking point of the last 48 hours, Stocker became the first draftee selected as part of a live pick trade following a deal between Carlton and Adelaide.

Speaking to SEN, the Sandringham Dragons product said he was thrilled to become a Carlton player — as surprising as it was.

“Carlton kept its cards pretty close to the chest and I certainly didn’t think I was a chance until my name was read out,” Stocker said.

“It was certainly a big surprise… The way things have panned out, I couldn’t think of a better set of circumstances.”

In attendance at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night, Stocker said he thought he was a 50/50 proposition to find an AFL home before the night was over.

Then, pick No.19 came around, and the rest was history.

“To be honest, I didn’t have an inkling of any clubs,” he said.

“The proceedings at the combine left me with little idea: I had a chat with my manager about what was a possibility. I was being conservative.”

With the unprecedented circumstances surrounding his selection, Stocker said he welcomed what he referred to as a “healthy pressure”.

“I’ve always put pressure on myself, whether or not I’ve had that external force there,” he said.

“I don’t think it’ll hamper me too much… I’m happy to have it.”

While staying at home is an added bonus, Stocker’s road from Sandringham to Carlton hasn’t been quite so simple.

“I was born in New South Wales before dad got a job offer in Beijing, so the family moved over to the big smoke in China,” he said.

“In 2004, we moved over to Hong Kong before finally moving back here in 2010 in Sandringham.”

 

Stocker joined No.1 pick Sam Walsh at his new home, before four fellow draftees — Finbar O’Dwyer, Ben Silvagni, Hugh Goddard and Tomas Bugg — followed on Friday.

While the remaining selections came yesterday, Stocker and Walsh had the chance to get accustomed to their new surroundings.

“Sam and I were lucky enough to head into Ikon Park and meet all the boys, who were all really welcoming and friendly. We’re really excited to get into training on Monday,” Stocker said.