‘I really shocked myself this year’: Mac Andrew bolting into top-five calculations

on 27 October 2021
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Mac Andrew only needed six NAB League games to turn the head of every AFL recruiter in the country.

In his first game of 2021 the 200-centimetre ruckman burst onto the scene with 22 disposals and 11 hit-outs for the Dandenong Stingrays. He wowed with soaring contested marks, landing like a cat and bounding away with the ball tucked under his arm.

He followed it up with strong outings in the NAB League, and captivated all draft watchers with a two-minute period in the first quarter of a Metro vs Country trial after he received a late call-up to the squad. Andrew kicked the first goal of the game after a big contested mark then shifted into the ruck, winning the hit-out and buttering up at ground level like a midfielder 20 centimetres shorter.

From trying to make the Dandenong Stingrays team to now being rated as the best ruckman in the draft and a sure-fire first-round pick, Mac Andrew reflected on his rapid rise with The Inner Sanctum.

“I really shocked myself this year – I didn’t think I’d be going this well,” Andrew admitted.

“I kind of came into the season with a couple of goals to tick off. One was just making the squad, then playing Round 1 and then hopefully getting invited to [Vic] Country.

“I guess I’ve exceeded my expectations for the year.”

For Andrew, football ramped up early. Born in Egypt to South Sudanese parents, he joined the Melbourne Demons Next Generation Academy in his teenage years when the program was just getting off the ground.

“I started off 13, 14 years old with their first ever academy stuff when they first introduced it. Meeting a lot of new boys and multicultural kids, it’s been great.”

He’s now set to be the first casualty of the ‘Jamarra rule’ – with clubs tied to draftees through NGAs unable to match a bid inside the top 20 selections on draft night. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Braeden Campbell and Lachie Jones all found homes with their respective NGA clubs in the first round last year, but the Demons won’t be afforded that same luxury 11 months on.

CLICK HERE for full article by Jasper Chellappah of ‘The Inner Sanctum’.