A MATURE-age rookie who honed his skills in the Hampden and South West District leagues is a step closer to realising his AFL dream.
Portland and Heathmere export Rowan Marshall was upgraded to St Kilda’s rookie list on Thursday.
Marshall, 21, was named as an emergency for the Saints’ Friday night clash with Essendon at Etihad Stadium.
The utility landed at St Kilda via the 2016 rookie draft after developing as a ruckman and defender at TAC Cup club Greater Western Victoria Rebels and VFL side North Ballarat Roosters.
He also had a stint at Ballarat league outfit Sebastopol.
Marshall was one of seven Hampden league exports drafted last year.
Three of them – South Warrnambool’s Hugh McCluggage (Brisbane), Camperdown’s Cedric Cox (Brisbane) and Cobden’s Sean Darcy (Fremantle) – have made their AFL debuts.
A fourth, Koroit premiership player Willem Drew, has been named as an emergency for Port Adelaide twice.
Portland’s Jamaine Jones (Geelong) and North Warrnambool Eagles’ Dion Johnstone (Melbourne) are also navigating their way in the AFL system.