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Q&A with Dow

Rising star nomination a 'massive honour' Paddy Dow faced the media at Ikon Park today following his Round 14 NAB AFL Rising Star performance against Collingwood.

IT'S been a big week for Paddy Dow, with the 18-year-old Swan Hill product receiving the Round 14 NAB AFL Rising Star nomination. The Carlton youngster sat down with to discuss his country upbringing, moving away from home and boarding at Geelong Grammar as a 16-year-old, and adjusting to life in Melbourne.

I’ve got it on pretty good authority that growing up, you were a problem child and that the first aid kit was always close to you. According to my notes you fell off a trailer at a young age?

Yeah, that is true! My younger brother Thomson was on top of the trailer and he was crying or something — well this is what I can recall of the story. Anyway, he was trying to get down so I went up to try and help him down and in doing so I fell off and hit my head on the veranda. I split my head open and required seven stitches and there was blood everywhere.

How old were you?

I was four, I think… maybe five? Either way, I was young.

Have you forgiven him since?

Nah, never!

This next bit of intel is from your dad, he said you were a fashionista growing up. He said that all stemmed from the cuffs on your jumpers and shirts?

I don’t know why, because I love them now, I couldn’t have clothing with elastic cuffs. I have no explanation for it because as you can see I’m wearing them now.

What did you do?

I couldn’t do anything other than buy a jumper that didn’t have them, or was really loose. This is good information, it’s a real throwback!

On a positive note, I have been told that growing up, and as the second oldest of four boys, you went easy on your siblings when it came to sport?

I think when I was younger, like two or three, Jedd was the best. It was always myself and Thomson on Jed and Max, and then as we got older, Thomson and I who are the tallest, we started to beat them quite easily. We started to think, ‘What are we proving here?’

What’s the age breakdown?

Max is 14, Thomson is 16, I’m 18 and Jedd is 21.

I’ve been notified that you love your hunting… I’ve heard stories involving bow and arrows and the like. What else can you provide about your interest in hunting?

I went through a stage where I loved the bow and arrow when I was in either Year 9 or 10. I had a good mate that loved it, too. I’ve got to the point where I’m more into the traditional hunting.

What other highlights have you got from growing up in Swan Hill?

Because you know everyone in Swan Hill, it’s pretty unique. You walk the street, you see a mate there and you just instantly know everything about them. You’re just close to everyone.

You played senior footy back there at the ripe old age of 14?

I was 14, but I was turning 15 that year.

What was that experience like?

I was a skinny and scrawny little kid, and I can remember playing my first game against Lance Picioane, who played for Kerang after he had finished up with Hawthorn and North Melbourne. He was the scariest looking bloke, and I remember having to line up on him and he didn’t care that I was 14. It was a good experience playing against a competitor like that who just wanted to win. They were a good team, and at that point, we were making finals.

Can you remember how you performed in that game?

I kicked a couple of goals because I was playing more of a forward role.

Apparently your first goal in senior footy was quite impressive, can you remember it?

Yeah, I took it out of the ruck, took a bounce, and kicked it from a fair way out. The second was just a set-shot, though. I’ll probably always remember them.

You boarded at Geelong Grammar. When did you move there?

I was in Year 10.

Being a few hours away from the place you’ve always lived, I imagine it was a difficult adjustment for you?

Yeah, it was a big step up. I went from the point where I knew everyone to going somewhere where you don’t know anyone. Having a few people there like Lochie O’Brien, Jarrod Brander and Brent Daniels in Year 11 helped heaps. I made friends quickly because everyone was mad about footy. You make friends with your teammates in the end.

Aside from not knowing anyone, what was the toughest thing about moving from Swan Hill?

At the start, it was not feeling comfortable for about 6-8 weeks. I missed that country feeling — going out bush with a few mates and doing those things. I did love school footy, but it wasn’t like club footy where you have the adults. School footy is just kids so you don’t have that attachment straight away.

I assume that prepared you well for Melbourne life with the Blues?

It’s the best thing I’ve ever done! I have so many more mates in Melbourne now which helps to be an escape from footy. Some of them don’t even watch footy so they don’t ask me about it all the time.

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