As the old adage goes, good things come to those who wait.
Words couldn’t be truer in the case of Tom Atkins.
The Geelong VFL captain and two-time best and fairest winner finally found his way onto an AFL list on Friday, completing his five-year journey from VFL development squad member to the Cats’ senior list.
“It’s still a little bit hard to believe,” he says.
“It feels great. A big relief more than anything. There’s obviously still a lot of work to do but it’s just nice to be given the opportunity. I’m just very thankful that I’m in this position.”
The dogged midfielder received the news via a text message from Geelong’s talent ID manager Troy Selwood.
“I was actually in the car, driving from work. There was a bit of traffic in Geelong and I sort of knew it might happen around that 6 o’clock time but it started a bit earlier.
“I was just driving home I was in the car and I pulled up at home and checked my phone and Troy Selwood had messaged me and said it had officially been done. It was a big relief, it’s nice when it happens because you don’t really have to stress about it anymore.”
Twelve months earlier, Atkins had received a message of a different kind. Geelong GM of Football Simon Lloyd got in touch to offer some support as Atkins went undrafted for yet another year.