Guelfi’s dream debut
Conor Walsh April 16, 2018 12:17 PM
While inevitably there would be nerves for Matt Guelfi as he entered his debut on Sunday, there was never any doubt from the Guelfi family that he was ready for AFL football.
Coming off two years playing senior football in the WAFL, the 20-year-old said his experience put him in good stead for an impressive debut.
“I was a bit nervous to start, but once I was out there and the game got rolling it was really exciting and I felt comfortable out there,” Guelfi said after Essendon’s strong 22-point victory over Port Adelaide.
“I think senior footy has really helped me feel a bit more comfortable with the bigger bodies.
“It’s a little bit quicker, but it’s not too much different to WAFL.”
Despite being on the ground for just 74% of the game, the West Australian had the equal most inside-50s of the match (six) and was equal second for contested possessions (nine) from the Bombers.
Guelfi – who also gathered 17 disposals – described his debut as a “dream come true” and said it was special having his family on hand for the match.
“My whole family is really proud of me, they know how hard I’ve worked to get here, it’s taken a bit longer but I’m here now and it’s awesome.
“It’s a bit of travel, but if it was anywhere in the world they would come.”
Guelfi’s father admitted to suffering pre-game nerves, but said he had confidence that Matt could comfortably slot into the side.
“(I’m) so proud of him, we all are, he’s worked really hard and I think he’s ready,” Steven Guelfi said after his son’s jumper presentation before the match.
“He’s very professional and I’ve watched him since he was four.”
With tears in his eyes he described the special phone call he’d received on Thursday as he found out the exciting news.
“When he rang me after training I could hear he was really emotional in his voice and I could hardly talk, so we didn’t say that much.
“Then we texted each other then I rang him back, so it was very emotional.”
Guelfi is now right in line to play in Essendon’s blockbuster Anzac Day clash against traditional rival Collingwood next week.
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