Gould to swap Lucindale for the bright lights of Sydney

Young footballers around the country anxiously held their breath during this week's AFL National Draft.

For many, the draft is the culmination of countless years of hard work, and for Lucindale's Will Gould his boyhood dream was realised when his name was read out during Thursday's draft.

Touted as a first-round draft pick throughout the year, Gould managed to slide into the second-round where the Sydney Swans pounced, using pick 26 on the talented defender.

Swapping the small town of Lucindale for the bright lights of Sydney, he said he was excited to finally be on an AFL list, but credited Lucindale Football Club for moulding him into the player he is today.

"Growing up as a junior we were always short for numbers, but I always enjoyed playing football with my mates," Gould said.

"I enjoyed coming up the ranks and I was lucky to have some great coaches and mentors at Lucindale."

It was clear from an early age that Gould had the talent and body to match it with the KNTFL's best, playing a vital role in Lucindale's premiership in 2017 as a 16-year-old.

"The club has been huge for my development and to win a flag with Lucindale was something very special for me," Gould said.

The big-bodied defender's talents saw him excel through the junior ranks at Glenelg, before graduating to the senior side.

During this year's SANFL season, Gould played 15 games for the Bays league side, playing a crucial role in the side winning its first flag in 33 years.

An SANFL flag, partnered with back-to-back U18 All-Australian selections, saw many AFL clubs interested in selecting Gould at the draft.

He said he was "shocked" when he was picked up by the Swans.

"To be honest I had no idea where I was going to end up - I was in constant contact with my manager," Gould said.

"I had a few interviews with the Swans across the year so I knew they were interested, but I was shocked that that I made it to the Swans."

A Geelong Cats supporter as a child, Gould was selected one selection before his boyhood club's next live selection, but he said he is just excited to be moving to the Harbour City.

"I grew up watching the Swans as a kid and they have been a great side for many years and have some great players," Gould said.

"I most excited to play alongside Dane Rampe as I see myself as a similar player, but will be pretty good to train alongside Buddy Franklin as well."

Gould will spend the next couple of days with friends and family before packing and flying off to Sydney on Sunday.

He won't have long to become accustomed to his surroundings, as he officially starts his first AFL preseason on Monday.

A determined and hard worker, Gould said he is keen to earn the respect of the club's senior players.

"As a young player you need to earn the respect of the senior players and I just want to put my head down and work hard," Gould said.

With an exciting 2020 beckoning for the Lucindale product, he admitted he'll probably need to re-evaluate his goals after being drafted.

"To be honest my biggest goal was to get drafted and I was fortunate enough to do that - I reckon I will need to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate them," he joked.

"Obviously my biggest goal is to try and play senior footy next year and I will do everything I can to make it happen."