The hardest part for Josh Fahey on Thursday night wasn't the agonising wait to see if he would be drafted to the GWS Giants.
It was the lag between hearing his name called, and the rest of the Queanbeyan Tigers Club seeing it unfold on the television.
"The Zoom call I was on with Fox Sports was 15 seconds ahead of the TV where the sound was coming out where everyone else could hear," Fahey said.
"When my name did get called out all my mates said they didn't want me to tell them, so I had to try holding the emotions for 15 seconds, where I just wanted to let it all out. I was pretty good."
Fahey was selected with pick No.42 by the Western Bulldogs, a bid instantly matched by the Giants who had rights to the Queanbeyan junior who had been in the GWS Academy since under-13s.
He'll join the likes of former Queanbeyan Tigers Michael Kennedy, Robert Anderson and Troy Gray to join an AFL list.
A tall wingman with a booming left kick, Fahey had long dreamed of playing for the Giants before a family move to the Gold Coast in early 2020 threatened to complicate his potential AFL future.
Fahey played two matches for the Gold Coast Suns Academy, before moving back home for the 2021 season, where he starred for the Queanbeyan Tigers before the AFL Canberra competition was ended prematurely as a result of the ACT's COVID lockdown.
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AFL rules stipulate a player must spend five consecutive years in the academy of a northern-state club for them to have rights over your future.
The Gold Coast move broke that streak, but on his return the Giants submitted an application to the AFL that would give them rights over Fahey. That application was approved, and now Fahey will join the club on Monday for three weeks of pre-season training.
"It's where I wanted to be. I went there three or four times over my last few years to train there and I loved every second of it, it feels like home," Fahey said.
"[Mum and dad are] still up on the Gold Coast, their border doesn't open until the 17th of December. That was devastating not having my two biggest supporters throughout my whole life there, but it was something I can't control.
"They were actually on the Zoom call up the front just so they could feel like they were a part of it. I did get around to calling them. Dad was the first person I wanted to speak to and so was mum considering how much they'd done for me throughout my career.
"I've got to be there by Sunday, I spoke to [coach] Leon [Cameron] last night, I got a few messages from a few of the players which was very humbling."
Fahey will live with fellow draftees Finn Callaghan and Leck Aleer in Mortlake until Christmas, before likely moving into more permanent lodgings early in the New Year.
Highly-rated midfielder Callaghan was taken with pick No.3, while tall defender Aleer was a fellow first-rounder, selected at No.15.
They're the only three players the Giants took in this year's draft.
"I definitely think there was a great crop that came through, I reckon down to pick 60 there were very good players honestly I could've put in the top 20 if I had to," Fahey said.
"I've been living at my girlfriend's house since lockdown. All my stuff's there so it'll be a pretty easy move, I think the whole house is furnished. I'm going to have to take a Playstation, keep me entertained."
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