Young defender Ryan Gardner has felt nothing but at home since crossing Bass Strait to Simonds Stadium via the 2015 national draft.
The Cats first selection came in at number 59 as the club added yet another Tasmanian to the playing list, with Gardner joining fellow defenders Jackson Thurlow and Jake Kolodjashnij to shape what could be a backline of the future built from the fruits of the Apple Isle.
“It’s been really good so far [but] definitely a challenge coming from Tassie,” the 18-year-old said.
“Thurlow and Kolodjashnij, they’ve been really good to me. Having those boys around you – they’re from your home town, from Tassie and it’s good to have them around.”
“They’re both defenders as well so I can learn off them.”
Learning has been the first port of call for Gardner throughout his short time at Geelong.
The former Burnie Docker has been religiously picking the brains of stalwarts Harry Taylor and Tom Lonergan and hopes to carry on the torch from the two premiership defenders.
“They’ve both been showing me parts at training, different ways that I can defend and help my game improve,” Gardner said.
“I’ve been watching a bit of footage on both of them as well … which is good, just to be able to see how they defend.”
“It’s good to see players like that in your team and that you can learn off, and for the years that go on I’ll be able to just follow them and make my game into something like theirs.”
For the full interview with Ryan Gardner, click on the video player at the top of the page