Eighteen-year-old Josh Dodd recently had a cracking SANFL league debut for the Sturt Football Club, booting four majors against North Adelaide at Peter Motley Oval.
The former Mannum Roo lined up for the Double Blues again on the weekend in their loss to ladder leaders Woodville West-Torrens, where he was held goalless.
Josh had been playing some really consistent footy in the reserves and, when an injury opened the door for him, he grabbed hold of his opportunity and had a really good debutMarty Mattner
Dodd said he only had one feeling heading into his first league game.
“I was really, really nervous. Playing alongside guys who’ve won a premiership and have been around for a while, I just didn’t want to mess up or do anything wrong,” he said.
Once he sunk his first goal, Dodd said the anxieties went away and it became just another game of footy.
“It was a great experience having a good hit-out for my first league game. It could have been a lot worse!
“Once I’d kicked my first goal, everyone really got around me and made me feel a lot more at ease,” he said.
Dodd was beyond appreciative of the support he received from all of his teammates and support staff.
“On a personal level, it felt really good when everyone congratulated me after the game, but it was also really good to get a win for the team.
“Honestly, it was probably the best day of my life,” he said.
Dodd said the side was truly tested against the Eagles, and he learned plenty from the loss.
“The Eagles have probably been the best side in the competition for the last eight years.
“Going up against the seasoned guys who’ve been and done it all was a great learning experience,” he said.
Sturt senior coach Marty Mattner was pleased with Dodd’s first outings, as well as his work in the Reserves and on the training track.
“We’d seen Josh had some good attributes throughout his time in the under 18s last year with Chris Trapp, so we invited him out for a senior preseason,” Mattner said.
Fitness was Dodd’s main area of improvement, and Mattner said it had shown in his form this year.
“Josh had been playing some really consistent footy in the reserves and, when an injury opened the door for him, he grabbed hold of his opportunity and had a really good debut.”