23/04/2024

Essendon's newest draftee Elijah Tsatas with club legend Matthew Lloyd. Photo: Essendon FC

After a mountain of conjecture about what Essendon would do with Pick 4, Elijah Tsatas’ name was read out to the delight of the star midfielder on Monday night.

Tsatas had as little clue about who the Dons would take as everyone else, but a cheeky message from Adrian Dodoro prior to the draft had him wondering what might be in store.

A delighted Tsatas fronted the media after being selected by the Bombers, letting slip the message the Essendon list boss sent him.

“I had absolutely no clue coming in – I obviously had my gut feel but to be honest I had no idea [where I’d end up]”, he admitted at Marvel Stadium.

“I got a little text [from Adrian Dodoro], but it was a bit cryptic, it didn’t give away too much.

“It was just like ‘good luck, whatever happens we’ve loved getting to know ya’ and I just sort of ‘like’ reacted it,” he laughed.

Tsatas has battled through injury to be drafted so high, dealing with a foot fracture in the middle of the year after getting stepped on during a game. He was on fire at the time, averaging 35 disposals per game in the NAB League with the Chargers.

He was a real chance to be taken with the first pick in the draft.

Tsatas opened up on that battle to get back at the end of the year and re-establish himself at the top of the crop.

“It’s super important just to remind everyone. It’s a bit of recency bias with the draft, so I just had to come back and remind everyone of what I can do and carry that form that I had at the start of the year.”

Remind everyone he did, finishing the season as the Chargers’ best and fairest despite only playing six games. He also starred in Vic Metro’s State Championship-clinching win over Country at Marvel.

At Metro he was playing alongside Alwyn Davey Jr., who’s set to join him at the Dons alongside his twin brother Jayden who has suffered multiple knee injuries in his junior career.

Having gone through the development programs with Jayden, Tsatas has first-hand knowledge of how talented the small forward is.

“Both of them are super exciting – Jayden’s had his fair share of injuries but he’s a freak in his own right in the things he can do on the field.”

Tsatas is over the moon to be heading to Essendon, and is already jumping at the bit to get involved in their pre-season.

“First session [of pre-season] whenever it is, I’ll be there.

“Speaking to the guys, they’re super excited for what they can bring. They’re super confident that everyone’s going in the right direction, and speaking to Hobbsy before all the boys are fit and firing.”

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