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The Phillip Island kid arrives

Michael Whiting  November 28, 2011 1:37 PM

Sam Docherty in action during the U18 championships

Sam Docherty in action during the U18 championships


WHILE most draft hopefuls sat around a television waiting for their name to be read out, new Brisbane Lion Sam Docherty was crossing his fingers, sitting at a laptop 4000km away.

The Gippsland Power defender was soaking up some sun in Bali after arranging a three-week holiday with his mates at the start of the year.

After missing the entire 2010 TAC Cup season, being drafted was the last thing on Docherty's mind when he planned the holiday.

"I hadn't even made the Gippsland Power squad, so I hadn't even thought twice about it (clashing with the draft)," Docherty said.

"Then half way through the year when clubs started talking to me I thought I better check what day the draft was and it was smack bang in the middle of my holidays, so I started to get edgy.

"As the year went on it became more realistic so I had to cut my holidays back to six nights from three-and-a-half weeks."

And when the Lions took Docherty with the No.12 pick - the pick they received from Melbourne in exchange for Mitch Clark - the classy 18-year-old was on the first flight back to Australia.

He got back to his Phillip Island home on Friday morning and re-packed for Brisbane, where he joined the Lions on Monday.

Docherty had a terrific 2011 and came to the attention of most scouts after a best-on-ground performance for Victoria Country against Western Australia in the under-18 national championships.

He is a disciplined rebounding defender with a beautiful right-foot kick, and will sit nicely alongside Josh Drummond, Pearce Hanley and Jed Adcock in the Lions' back half.

Docherty went to the same school as new teammate Mitch Golby, Wonthaggi Secondary College, and said the response from his home town had been overwhelming.

"Nobody has ever been drafted from Phillip Island so it's massive for the community and massive for my family as well," he said.

"Dad was down at the pub; pretty much my whole local football club was down there [on draft night], so it's absolutely huge."

Michael Whiting covers Brisbane Lions news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @mike_whiting