JEREMY Hausler had a couple of beers as he joined mates in Warrnambool’s social club and watched Hampden maul Sunraysia in last year’s interleague match.
On Saturday the pain of missing selection will be forgotten when he makes his country championships debut with the Bottle Greens against Ovens and Murray.
The Koroit ruckman booked his place in Hampden’s 22 with an impressive opening to the season where he has split time on the ball and up forward.
“I’ve been in the squad for three years and this will be my first (game),” he said.
“It’s a good feeling.”
Hausler, who was recruited to Koroit from Mininera and District league side Hawkesdale-Macarthur, has always harboured interleague ambitions since joining the Hampden league.
“I thought I was pretty close last year,” Hausler said.
“I missed out on the last night, that was a bit of a downer.
“But it’s good to be in it this year, really pleased.”
Hausler said that while watching Hampden’s 94-point demolition of Sunraysia at Reid Oval last year he couldn’t help but think of joining the Bottle Greens.
“It would have been nice to play,” he said.
The 23-year-old is primed for Saturday’s match against the fifth-ranked Ovens and Murray at Wangaratta.
He put in a big pre-season, added several kilograms of muscle to his 197-centimetre tall, lean frame and broadened his development by joining South Australian National Football League club West Adelaide for some practice matches.
He said an offer to join the club permanently had taken him by surprise because he had already committed to Koroit.
During the Hampden league’s bye at Easter he joined West Adelaide’s reserves for a home-and-away match.
Hausler has an invitation to return this season with a view to moving across the border for next season.
“They said they would offer me a contract for next year if I want it,” he said.
“It is great if I want to do it, it’s definitely a high standard of footy, it was a bit different, quicker. It’s definitely an experience.” The cabinetmaker is treating Saturday’s clash as another learning opportunity.
“It means a bit to be recognised as one of the better players in the league,” he said.
Hausler’s only previous representative appearance was with Mininera’s under 16 side at the region’s junior lightning premiership seven years ago.
“I don’t know anything about the ground or the opposition,” he said.
“I will take it as it comes. You just rock up and play the best you can.”