DEAN Towers is fast making himself a regular in the Sydney Swans’ senior side after waiting nearly two seasons for his AFL debut.
The Colac export and former North Ballarat Rooster played his first game for the Bloods in round 17 against Carlton and hasn’t looked back, stringing three consecutive matches together.
Towers, 24, describes his first three stints at professional level as a “thrill”.
“It’s been really good to get the opportunity to play seniors,” Towers told The Courier.
“You play footy to get in the ones and it’s a thrill to be playing alongside players who are going to be remembered for a long time. I felt like I’ve been ready for a little while, but it’s hard to get in when you’ve got premiership players in your spot.”
The 189-centimetre half forward averages nearly nine touches for the season and is hoping to give Swans coaches good reason to keep him in the side after being named as the emergency eight times since the start of the year.
His athletic prowess is well known, given his vertical jump record (85 centimetres) at the 2012 AFL Draft Combine.
However, Towers is hoping to use his pace alongside the likes of Lewis Jetta and Gary Rohan a bit more to help open opposition sides up defensively.
“I’m one of the quicker blokes, we (Jetta, Rohan and Towers) enjoy going for a run against each other,” he said.
“I also love going up and flying for a mark, but with Buddy (Lance Franklin), Tippo (Kurt Tippett) and Reidy (Sam Reid) down there I won’t get too many chances.
Towers is also hoping to snag his first major after missing a golden opportunity in his first game.
“Buddy gave me that one (chance) – the eyes lit up and I had a grin on my face before I kicked it and he gave me a bit of stick afterwards (for missing), too,” he said.
Towers credits his time spent with other clubs, particularly the Selkirk Roosters, for helping make elite standard as a mature-age recruit.
“It’s been a steady increase since I left Otway Districts – year by year – and there’s no way I could have done it in one jump,” he said.
“Fitzy (Gerard FitzGerald, Roosters coach) was one of the first people I called when I found out I’d play my first game.
“I’ve been doing everything right and the opportunities are there, but there are some good players to come back in and a few unlucky boys are going to miss out – hopefully I’m not one of them.”